Here’s How Apple’s New AirPods Stack Up To AirPods Pro

The battery life is seriously impressive.

by Daffany Chan

AirPods 3 Vs. AirPods Pro

Apple’s 3rd generation AirPods launch on Oct. 26. It’s the first classic AirPods update since 2019’s 2nd gen AirPods.

Comparing AirPods 3 to AirPods Pro will give you something to think about when you go to buy new headphones.


Like Pro:

AirPods 3 have a shorter stem with a new media-control force sensor (to pause tracks, answer calls, etc.). They’re also sweat- and water-resistant.

Not Like Pro:

AirPods 3 don’t have silicone ear tips — there’s a new contoured design to better direct audio into the ears.

Courtesy of Apple

Improved Audio

AirPods 3 have a new driver and high dynamic range amplifier that combine to deliver powerful bass and crisp high frequencies.

AirPods Pro also have a custom high-excursion Apple driver, but the company developed this brand new one for AirPods 3.

Courtesy of Apple

Included Pro Sound Features

Adaptive EQ

AirPods 3rd gen have Adaptive EQ to adjust frequencies in real-time for optimal listening based on how they fit in the ear.

Spatial Audio

Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking subtly adjusts the frequencies in each ear to provide 3D sound.

Missing Pro Sound Features

Active Noise Cancellation

AirPods 3 don’t have Active Noise Cancellation to block out unwanted background noises completely.

Transparency Mode

They’re also missing Transparency Mode, which allows for ambient noises.

New Skin-Detect Sensor

AirPods 3 feature a new skin-detect sensor that you won’t find on AirPods Pro (or on 2nd gen AirPods).

It replaces Pro’s dual optical sensors to help the earbuds more accurately pause and play automatically by knowing better if they’re in or out of your ears.

Longer Battery Life

AirPods 3: Six Hours (Fully Charged)

The best battery life for AirPods yet. You’ll get five hours with Spatial Audio.

AirPods Pro: Five Hours (Fully Charged)

You’ll get four-and-a-half hours with Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency Mode.

Both are MagSafe-compatible.

Voice Quality

A custom acoustic mesh only found on AirPods Pro and 3rd gen AirPods covers your AirPod microphones to lessen wind sounds on calls.

Both Pro and 3rd gen provide HD voice quality on FaceTime calls to make your calls sound more true to life than ever before.

Price: $70 Cheaper

AirPods 3 cost $179.

AirPods Pro cost $249.

New In-Store Engraving

Get free engraving at an Apple Store for the first time ever. As of Oct. 26, you can get AirPods (including Pro and 3rd gen) engraved exclusively at Apple Fifth Avenue in New York.

Buy AirPods in store or order online for pick up at the Fifth Avenue location.

Courtesy of Apple


AirPods 3rd gen have more of a Pro experience than 2nd gen AirPods — and there are so many brand new features.

You won’t get noise cancellation or silicone ear tips, but for a cost-effective way to get quite a few Pro features, AirPods 3rd generation are worth a good look.

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