AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: what’s new with Apple’s true wireless earbuds?

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: what’s new with Apple’s true wireless earbuds?

( Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple has actually lastly launched the AirPods 3, over 2 years because it introduced the AirPods 2 back in2019

The brand-new AirPods (3rd generation) feature a brand-new AirPods Pro– style design, assistance for Spatial Audio, and customized motorists that are created to fight distortion.

All these brand-new functions might make the AirPods 3 an enticing possibility over the older AirPods 2 – now that the latter have actually been offered a long-term cost cut, you might be questioning which Apple earbuds you must purchase.

While we have not had an opportunity to evaluate the AirPods 3 for ourselves right now (and we’ll make certain to upgrade this guide once we’ve completely examined the third-gen AirPods), we’ve taken a deep dive into the specifications to assist you select the finest AirPods for your requirements.

The Apple AirPods 3. ( Image credit: Apple)

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: cost and schedule

The Apple AirPods (3rd generation) are readily available to preorder now, with the main AirPods 3 release date set for October26 Costing $179/ ₤169/ AU$279, they’re more costly than the AirPods 2, however still more affordable than the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro.

The second-gen AirPods introduced back in March 2019, at $159/ ₤159/ AU$249 with the basic charging case, and $199/ ₤199/ AU$319 with the Wireless Charging Case bundled in.

However, older real cordless earbuds have actually now been provided an irreversible discount rate, with the rate dropping to $129/ ₤119/ AU$219

There’s a catch though – that rate will get you the AirPods 2 with a basic charging case, and Apple is no longer offering them with the cordless charging case as a package. If you desire the second-gen AirPods with a cordless charging case, you’ll need to hand over an extra $79/ ₤79/ AU$129 – which is more pricey than purchasing the brand-new AirPods 3.

So, if you’re great with a basic USB-C charging case, the AirPods 2 are the more affordable choice – and they’re sure to be marked down greatly over Black Friday 2021(previous AirPods Black Friday offers have actually seen them drop as low as $99/ ₤99/ AU$99). If cordless charging is an offer breaker, your finest alternative is to purchase the brand-new AirPods 3.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: style

The AirPods 3 and the AirPods 2 share a comparable visual, with an all-white, minimalistic style, however there are a couple of crucial distinctions in between the 2 designs.

Firstly, Apple has actually reduced the stems for the AirPods 3, in addition to providing them with touch-capacitive sensing units that you can squeeze to manage your music playback and telephone call, similar to the AirPods Pro.

The real estates of the AirPods 3 cordless earbuds have actually likewise been made more structured, with a contoured style that’s expected to funnel audio straight into your ear canals. Neither of the designs includes interchangeable eartips, unlike the AirPods Pro.

Another brand-new function for the AirPods 3 is water- and sweat-resistance, which ought to make them much better to utilize while exercising than the AirPods 2. Like the AirPods Pro, the AirPods (3rd generation) boast an IPX4 ranking, which ought to suffice to secure them from a drop of rain or sweat.

Overall, we believe the appearance of the brand-new AirPods is sleeker and more advanced than that of its predecessors, though we’ll require to evaluate them for ourselves prior to we can state how comfy they are.

The Apple AirPods 2 ( Image credit: TechRadar)

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: audio efficiency

We’re wishing for a huge enhancement to the audio efficiency of the AirPods 3 compared to the previous design, and evaluating by the specifications, it appears like we’ll get it.

The newest AirPods include a brand-new customized low distortion chauffeur and a high vibrant variety amplifier, so they should not sound as severe at high frequencies as the AirPods 2. We’re likewise expecting that the bass will sound more effective, producing a more robust, satisfying listening experience.

While neither design permits you to fine-tune the EQ settings to your own exacting requirements, the AirPods 3 do include Adaptive EQ. This function was initially presented with the AirPods Pro, tuning the noise of the earbuds in genuine time based upon how they suit your ears. In theory, this will enhance the low and mid frequencies to represent any loss in information or volume due to variations in how the AirPods 3 fit.

Another brand-new audio function concerning the AirPods 3 is Spatial Audio assistance, that makes music and soundtracks sound as though they’re coming at you from every angle, utilizing the earbuds’ integrated gyroscopes and accelerometers to make sure the noise is located precisely.

Finally, there must be some enhancement to call audio with the AirPods 3. They feature beamforming microphones that are covered with an acoustic mesh that’s developed to decrease the noise of wind. They likewise support the AAC-ELD codec, which Apple states will provide “complete HD voice quality”.

Neither the AirPods 3 nor the AirPods 2 come with active sound cancellation. For that, you’ll require to seek to the AirPods Pro, or the over-ear AirPods Max

( Image credit: Apple)

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: battery life

While the 2019 AirPods provided 24 hours of playback in overall (that’s about 5 from the earbuds and an additional 4 charges from the charging case), the brand-new AirPods 3 deal a 30- hour max battery life.

That can be broken down into 6 hours of listening time or as much as 4 hours of talk time from the buds themselves, with 4 surcharges from the case. Stating that, the onboard battery life is lowered to 5 hours if you’re utilizing Spatial Audio.

Both buds featured a quick-charge function, with 5 minutes in the event providing you about an hour of playback.

They likewise both featured cordless charging cases – though as we pointed out previously, you need to pay additional for that function with the AirPods 2 – however the AirPods 3 charging case is likewise MagSafe-compatible.

( Image credit: Future)

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: connection

Unsurprisingly, both the AirPods 3 and the AirPods 2 are enhanced for usage within the larger Apple community, with functions like very fast pairing and auto-switching in between gadgets making it simple to switch in between your iPad, iPhone, or MacBook.

Both designs likewise support the ‘Hey Siri’ function, which lets you summon the voice assistant hands-free, in addition to the Announce Notifications function. This permits Siri to read you time-sensitive updates from apps such as Messages, Reminders, and Calendar.

New connection functions for the AirPods 3 consists of Audio Sharing, which implies you can likewise share the audio stream in between 2 sets of AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, while utilizing your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple television.

Inside the AirPods 3 is a skin-detect sensing unit, which informs the AirPods 3 if they’re really in your ears, instead of on a table or inside your pocket. If they’re not in your ears, music playback will be stopped briefly, which will most likely spare you some valuable battery life.

If you have an Apple gadget that runs iOS 15, you’ll get access to a couple of additional functions with the third-gen AirPods, consisting of Spatial Audio and vibrant head tracking in Group FaceTime calls, and combination with the Find My network.

Of the 2 designs, the AirPods 3 featured more convenient connection functions, however you’re still getting a dreadful great deal of ‘Apple-ness’ with the AirPods 2 thanks to exceptional combination with the business’s other gadgets.

( Image credit: Apple)


Without checking the AirPods 3 for ourselves, we’re reluctant to offer a conclusive decision on whether you need to purchase them over the present AirPods 2 – nevertheless, the specifications recommend that the most recent AirPods will be a considerable upgrade over their predecessors.

Long story short, if functions like cordless charging, Spatial Audio, water resistance, and Adaptive EQ are offer breakers for you, the brand-new AirPods (3rd generation) are going to be your best choice.

That stated, those upgrades come at a cost, and now that the AirPods 2 have actually been offered an irreversible cost cut, it’s still worth thinking about the older earbuds if you’re on a rigorous spending plan.

Olivia is TechRadar’s Audio & Music Editor, covering whatever from earphones to music streaming services. Based in TechRadar’s London workplaces, she’s a music graduate who operated in the music market prior to discovering her calling in journalism. She’s formerly been spoken with on BBC Radio 5 Live on the topic of multi-room audio, chaired panel conversations on variety in music celebration lineups, and her bylines consist of T3, Stereoboard, Top Ten Reviews Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. In her extra time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her feline Ethel and golden retriever Dora.

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