Difference between the AirPods and AirPods Pro


Difference between the AirPods and AirPods Pro

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Difference between the AirPods and AirPods Pro

This guide is designed to show you the primary differences between Apple’s line of AirPods and the advanced AirPods Pro. As of now, Apple has diversified its product line by offering four distinct variants of the AirPods, each with its unique features and benefits.

To break it down, there are three iterations of the original AirPods that maintain a relatively similar design and function, albeit with subtle upgrades in each new generation. These are the AirPods (2nd generation), and the most recent AirPods (3rd generation). The fourth model, diverging significantly from the original design, is the over-the-ear AirPods Max which delivers high-fidelity audio and premium comfort.

The first of these is the AirPods Max, a luxury, over-the-ear headphones designed for those who crave an immersive sound experience. Apple has shifted gears from the classic AirPods design, venturing into the realm of noise-canceling headphones with the AirPods Max.

In addition to the AirPods Max, Apple has continued to build upon the success of the original AirPods. The AirPods (2nd generation) and AirPods (3rd generation) continue the brand’s commitment to delivering top-tier, in-ear wireless earbuds that provide a balance of comfort, convenience, and sound quality. Then there are the AirPods Pro, which elevate the listening experience with advanced features like active noise cancellation and adaptive EQ.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the intricate specifics of each of these three models, comparing their unique features, benefits, and potential downsides. By shedding light on the differences among the trio, we aim to provide you with the necessary insights to determine which model aligns best with your personal needs, preferences, and budget.

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AirPods (2nd generation)

The second-generation AirPods are the most affordable model in Apple’s AirPods range, these headphones retail for $129. They are powered by the Apple H1 chip and they come with a battery that will give you up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge. The AirPods also come with a charging case that will expand the listening time to 24 hours.

AirPods (2nd generation)

The AirPods (2nd Generation) come with a Lightning charging case and they feature double-tap controls for skipping and rewinding tracks they come with Apple’s Hey Siri feature which will let you use Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac with voice commands. These headphones share a similar design to the third-generation AirPods.

AirPods (3rd generation)

The 3rd generation AirPods have a slightly updated design over the 2nd gen model, this includes a new charging case that is similar to that of the AirPods Pro. The headphones are powered by the same H1 chip and the second-generation model.

The latest Apple AirPods come with Force Sensor for controlling music and they come with personalized Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking.

AirPods (3rd generation)

These headphones are designed to be both sweat and water-resistant as is the charging case and you can choose from two charging case types. Lightning will allow you to charge the headphones with a Lightning cable and MagSafe, you can charge the headphones wirelessly with a MagSafe charger.

The 3rd gen AirPods come with up to 6 hours of listening on a single charge and up to 30 hours of listening with the charging case.

There are two different price points for the 3rd generation AirPods, the Lightning model costs $169 and the MagSafe model costs $179.

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AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

The AirPods Pro 2nd generation comes with a range of features that the other two models do not have, this includes Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, and touch controls for controlling your music.

The headphones also come with the personalized Spatial Audio and the dynamic head tracking that is featured in the 3rd generation AirPods.

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

The latest model AirPods Pro features the Apple H2 chip which is the latest model available, and they also come with Apple’s Hey Siri feature.

As the charging case is similar to the 3rd generation AirPods, you get up to 6 hours of listening on a single charge and up to 30 hours of listening with the charging case. The AirPods Pro com with a MagSafe charging case that has a speaker which can be used with Apple’s Find My to locate the headphones.

The headphones and the case are also designed to be sweat and water-resistant. The 2nd generation AirPods Pro retail for $249,

AirPods Max

The AirPods Max is the most expensive AirPods in the range, these headphones are over-the-ear headphones and retail at $549.

Apple released the AirPods Max in 2020, so they come with the same H1 chip as the AirPods and not the more recent H2 chip like the AirPods Pro.

AirPods Max

These headphones also come with Hey Siri and you can have up to 20 hours of listening time on a single charge. They come with a range of sensors including optical, position, accelerometer, and case detection sensors.

There are a total of nine different microphones, eight of these come with Active Noise Cancellation, and there are three microphones for voice pickup.

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The AirPods Max comes with a digital crown that can be used to control the volume and also the music and telephone calls etc. Apple is expected to release a new model of these headphones which may be released next year.


As we can see there are a number of differences between the AirPods and the AirPods Pro, we have also included the AirPods Max in the guide as some people may be interested in this model.

Which model you go for will all depend on what you want the headphones for, if you need Active Noise Cancellation then you should look at the AirPods Pro. If you are looking for more budget-friendly AirPods, then the 2nd generation AirPods may be the one to go for. Of course, there is also a wide range of headphones from other manufacturers that are worth looking at.

We hope that you find this guide useful, if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please let us know in the comments section below. You can find out more details about all of the AirPods models over at Apple’s website.

Image Credit: Daniel Romero

Filed Under: Apple, Gadgets News, Guides

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