Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) vs AirPods Pro

Appleā€™s AirPods have revolutionized the wireless earbuds market, offering an unbeatable blend of sound quality, convenience, and Apple ecosystem integration. With the release of the AirPods (3rd Generation) and the existing AirPods Pro, consumers face the dilemma of choice. Both earbuds promise top-notch performance, but they are designed for different user needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key specifications to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Build Quality

AirPods (3rd Generation)

  • Form Factor: Stemless design
  • Material: Hard plastic
  • Colors: White

AirPods Pro

  • Form Factor: Shorter stem
  • Material: Hard plastic with silicone tips
  • Colors: White

The AirPods Pro offer a more customizable fit due to their silicone tips, providing better noise isolation. The 3rd Generation opts for a universal fit without the tips.

Sound Quality

AirPods (3rd Generation)

  • Drivers: Custom-built
  • Bass: Improved over predecessors
  • Highs and Mids: Balanced

AirPods Pro

  • Drivers: Custom-built
  • Bass: Deep and rich
  • Highs and Mids: Crisp and clear

AirPods Pro generally provides a more balanced and richer sound experience due to its noise isolation feature.

Noise Cancellation

AirPods (3rd Generation)

  • Noise Cancellation: Not available

AirPods Pro

  • Noise Cancellation: Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode

This is perhaps the biggest difference. AirPods Pro offers superior noise-cancelling capabilities, making it a better choice for noisy environments.

Battery Life

AirPods (3rd Generation)

  • Playback Time: Up to 6 hours
  • Case Charging: Up to 30 hours

AirPods Pro

  • Playback Time: Up to 4.5 hours with ANC, 5 hours without ANC
  • Case Charging: Up to 24 hours

The 3rd Generation AirPods edge out the Pros in terms of battery life, especially with the case.


AirPods (3rd Generation)

  • Retail Price: Around $179

AirPods Pro

  • Retail Price: Around $249

AirPods (3rd Generation) are more budget-friendly but lack some of the Pro features like active noise cancellation.


Which AirPods are better for workouts?

  • AirPods Pro have a better fit and water resistance, making them more suitable for workouts.

Do both AirPods have spatial audio?

  • Yes, both the 3rd Generation and Pro models support spatial audio.

Is the wireless charging case standard for both models?

  • Yes, both come with a wireless charging case.

Can I use one earbud at a time for both models?

  • Yes, both models support using a single earbud independently.


Choosing between the AirPods (3rd Generation) and AirPods Pro boils down to your specific needs. If you’re after high-quality sound with noise cancellation, the AirPods Pro is your best bet. However, if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, with longer battery life and still a great sound, the 3rd Generation is an excellent choice.