AirPods 2 vs. AirPods 3 | What Are the Main Differences?

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 Credit: Apple
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Apple finally announced the AirPods 3 in what may be the very last Apple event of 2021. That said, Apple’s, of course, still selling the second-generation AirPods. So that raises the question: What’s new about the AirPods 3? Are they really that different from the Airpods 2?

Fortunately, many rumors about these new AirPods were actually true, so there are many things that might compel you to make the upgrade. But before you do, let’s take a look at what’s different about the AirPods 3 compared to last-generation AirPods.


One of the biggest changes with the AirPods 3 is the price. Not only are the AirPods 3 more expensive than the AirPods 2, which is expected, but they’re also more expensive than the original price of the AirPods 2.

The AirPods 2 release date price was $159, whereas the AirPods 3 cost $179. It’s possible that Apple had to raise the price because of the new features the AirPods 3 have—more on that later.

As for their current price, Apple will continue to sell the second-generation AirPods for $129. So if you’re only looking for the best price, and you’re not that worried about sound, the AirPods 2 are the better deal for you. 


If you watched the Apple event this past Monday, you know that one of the biggest surprises was the AirPods 3 redesign. Well, that and the MacBook Pro notch.

The AirPods 3 feature the biggest redesign in the regular AirPods lineup since their creation, albeit they kind of look like the AirPods Pro. 

Overall, the AirPods 3 are more compact. Overall, AirPods 2 are taller, wider, and thicker. This is an excellent advantage for the AirPods 3 since they’re lighter and have a shorter stem, which some people complained about. Plus, the AirPods 3 now have force sensor controls like the ones on the AirPods Pro. 

Some good news for AirPod users is that Apple decided not to use the in-ear tips from the AirPods Pro. Instead, the AirPods 3 remain tipless, which is also one of the most significant differences between them and the Pro model. 

Apple also redesigned the AirPods 3 case. Now, the case features a wider design that’s, you guessed it, pretty similar to the AirPods Pro charging case.


The AirPods 3 are rocking some amazing new features that might make you want to upgrade instantly. But, unfortunately, the rumors that said the third-generation AirPods would get Active Noise Cancellation was wrong.

However, even without ANC, there are new features that’ll make you love these earbuds. For starters, the AirPods 3 will continue to be water and sweat-resistant. As of right now, we don’t know if they’re better than the second-generation AirPods, so we’ll have to wait until we know their IPX rating. 

What separates the AirPods 3, however, is that they now support spatial audio. So, just like the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, you can take full advantage of spatial audio songs from Apple Music, as well as movies and shows that’ll make you feel like you’re in the movie theater. 

And just like the more expensive AirPods, thanks to the gyroscopes and accelerometers, the AirPods 3 will track your head and adjust the sound accordingly based on how near or far you are from your Apple device. So if you move your head to the right, the sound will adjust, so you hear it feels like you’re always at the center of the action. 

The AirPods 3 also come with Adaptive EQ, a first introduced feature with the AirPods Pro. This feature will also adjust and tune the sound in real-time based on how the AirPods fit your ear. As Apple put it, you’ll hear the songs as the artist wanted. 

Battery Life

The AirPods 3 beat the AirPods 2 in battery life by one hour. Now, the third-generation AirPods will last up to six hours with one full charge, whereas the AirPods 2 last up to 5 hours. Funny enough, the AirPods Pro lasts up to 4.5 hours if you’re using ANC. 

Not only that, but Apple said the AirPods would have a total of 30 hours of total playback time with the help of the charging case. What’s even more impressive is that, according to Apple, just five minutes of charge will give the AirPods one hour of battery life. 

In regard to the charging case, the other news is that the AirPods 3 supports MagSafe wireless charging. So you can now use the same MagSafe charger on both your iPhone and AirPods, which is a nice plus. 


It’s still a little too soon to say how good the new AirPods 3 will be, at least regarding sound quality. The AirPods 2 already has a decent sound quality, and features like spatial audio and Adaptive EQ will only improve the experience. 

The normal AirPods have always been a best-seller for Apple. With an affordable price, good sound quality, and ease of use, the AirPods are the go-to option for most of us. But this update will make the AirPods 3 the clear winner for the holiday season and beyond. At least, until Apple reveals something like the AirPods Pro 2. 

If you’re looking to buy a new set of AirPods, this might be a great opportunity for you. You can order your AirPods 3 right now, and Apple will begin shipping them on October 26.

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