Updated: October 25, 2021 2:26:50 pm
Apple announced the AirPods 3 alongside the new MacBook Pro variants last week and added another audio product to its audio portfolio. The new AirPods third generation bring a slightly new design to the wireless earbuds along with some new features, bringing its price closer to the AirPods Pro than ever before.
So if you’re out looking for a new pair of AirPods to buy, which one exactly should be your pick? Here’s a head-to-head between all the AirPods variants available in India right now to help you figure out which one is for you. We will not be including the first-gen AirPods because Apple no longer sells them via its website.
The AirPods 3 are priced at Rs 18,500 in India, making them more expensive by the AirPods second generation by quite a bit. However, that is still Rs 6,400 less than the price of the AirPods Pro which come in at Rs 24,900 in India. The older AirPods 2 are priced at Rs 12,900.
The AirPods 2 come in a more elongated case shape and the earbuds themselves have plastic heads and no silicone tips, along with longer stems. With the AirPods 3 you still have a plastic head, but with shorter stems and more squarish case. The AirPods Pro come with a squarish case too but feature silicone tips on the earbuds.
The AirPods 2 weigh at 4 grams per earbud and 38.2 grams for the case. The AirPods 3 weigh at 4.28 grams per earbud and 37.91 grams for the case. The AirPods Pro weigh at 5.4 grams per earbud and 45.6 grams for the case.
The AirPods 2 misses out on key features including Spatial Audio, sweat and water resistance and MagSafe charging support. Both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro come with these features. The AirPods Pro also packs Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and a transparency mode.
The AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro also support for Adaptive EQ, something that the AirPods 2 misses out on. The AirPods Pro features a vent system for pressure equalisation in your ear inside the silicone tips, something not present on (or applicable to) the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.
The AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 also feature a broader range of gesture controls on the earbuds that let you control music playback and calls and trigger Siri compared to the AirPods 2, which has minimal gesture support.
The AirPods 2 feature up to 5 hours of listening time with a single charge of the earbuds and up to 3 hours for calls. The case gives you a total battery life of about 24 hours and 15 minutes of in-case charging will get you 3 hours of music time and 2 hours of talk time.
Coming to the AirPods 3, you get up to 6 hours of music time and 4 hours for calls with a single charge of the earbuds. However, the 6 hours figure can come down to 5 hours if you have Spatial Audio turned on. The case will give you a total battery life of about 30 hours and 5 mins of charging in the case will get you 1 hour of battery life on the buds.
With the AirPods Pro, you get 5 hours of music time (4.5 hours with ANC turned on) and 3.5 hours of call time. The case gives you a total battery life of about 24 hours and 5 mins of charging in the case will get you 1 hour of battery life on the buds.
Which AirPods are for you?
If you’re looking to buy the most affordable pair of AirPods, the AirPods 2 is your best bet. It should suit most college-goers and basic users who may use it for music and calls and may not need the absolute best call quality and feature support.
Meanwhile, the AirPods 3 provides a good balance between pricing and feature, adding support for Spatial Audio, MagSafe and sweat and water resistance, making them ideal for outdoor activities like running in addition to other use cases. They also feature the best battery life between the three products.
The AirPods Pro are still the best sounding truly wireless earbuds Apple makes, but they are more expensive and have slightly lesser battery life. However, if ANC support and the silicone-tipped design are important factors to you, you will have to go with the AirPods Pro.
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