Apple last week released the third generation AirPods (AirPods 3). The announcement was made during the company's Unleashed event, where it also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro that is available in 14 and 16 inch sizes and has more powerful chips.
Apple's new $ 179 (€ 154) AirPods have a lot in common with high-end AirPods Pro. The stems are closer and the headset looks more like the AirPods Pro, except that it retains the open design of the older model and not the variable tips.
Also, the AirPods 3 come with spatial audio support and water resistance, unlike standard AirPods, which Apple will still sell for $ 129 (€ 111). The new headphones are available for pre-order before their release next week.
The main difference between the new AirPods and the AirPods Pro is still the active noise cancellation, which is still available exclusively on the $ 249 (€ 214) AirPods Pro. So far, the new headphones seem like a middle ground between the basic AirPods and AirPods Pro, but we'll learn more as soon as we get a chance to try them out.
The following is a detailed comparison of third generation AirPods and AirPods Pro.
Design: AirPods 3 have a similar shape, but without “silicone tips"
If you are familiar with the new AirPods, it's because they borrow a lot of design from AirPods Pro. Third generation AirPods have an earpiece that is narrower than standard AirPods. It's not as thin as the AirPods Pro earpiece, but it's definitely not as round as the standard AirPods. The new AirPods are also water and sweat resistant like the AirPods Pro, which could make them a more attractive choice for those who use them during exercise and outdoor activities.
Like the earpiece, the case for the new AirPods looks like a crossover case for standard AirPods and AirPods Pro. It is much shorter and wider than the original AirPods case, but it is not as wide as the AirPods Pro case. You can also charge your third-generation AirPods case wirelessly, including Apple's MagSafe charger.
Also, the stems of the third generation AirPods are closer, another feature that resembles the AirPods Pro. These new stems also have the same Force Touch sensor as the AirPods Pro, which lets you control audio playback and boot Siri.
The biggest difference between the two in terms of design is that the new $ 179 AirPods do not have interchangeable silicone tips like the AirPods Pro, which includes three sizes to choose from. The new AirPods are also lighter than the AirPods Pro.
Audio: No active noise cancellation, but with other audio enhancements
You'll need to use Apple's top-of-the-line headphones for active noise cancellation and transparency. But the new AirPods also inherit some other audio features from the AirPods Pro: spatial audio and adaptive EQ.
Spatial audio is essentially like a virtual surround sound. Technology generally makes the sound more real and mimics the experience of being in a movie theater. Apple introduced the AirPods Pro feature in last year's iOS 14 update and seems to be a key part of the AirPods experience. Both the new $ 179 AirPods and the $ 549 AirPods Max over-ear feature this feature. The adaptive EQ adjusts the sound based on the shape of your ear.
Performance and battery: AirPods 3 have longer battery life but the same chip as AirPods Pro
The new third generation AirPods are expected to have a longer battery life compared to their predecessors. Apple says it will last for six hours on a single charge and up to five hours with spatial audio enabled. You will also have up to four hours of talk time and the charging case should provide up to 30 hours of listening time.
On AirPods Pro, by comparison, the battery should last up to 4,5 hours on a single charge and five hours if you turn off active noise cancellation and transparency mode. Apple also says it will offer 3,5 hours of talk time and the case provides 24 hours of total listening time.
Both third generation AirPods and AirPods Pro have the H1 chip Apple, therefore, should offer similar performance to specific tasks.
Overall, the AirPods 3 looks set to be upgraded in two areas: comfort and audio functionality. This is especially important as the market for genuine wireless headphones has become very competitive.
Source of information: cnet.com