AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2; what is the difference? – Gadgets – Techblog

AirPods 3 arrived in October 2021 as the successors of the second generation model, released in 2019. Apple’s new headphones bring, for example, more controls, bigger battery, space audio technology and resistance to sweat and water. Of course, its price is also higher. In this comparative, check the differences between the second and third generation of AirPods and find out if the new features warrant the switch.


AirPods 3 (Image: Disclosure/Apple)

Design and dimensions

The first notable difference between the two models is the headphone design. The new 3rd generation AirPods feature shorter booms and a narrower angle compared to its predecessor, visually resembling the Pro version, but without the in-ear ports. The new case MagSafe wireless is also lower and wider than the case of AirPods 2.

During the October 2021 event, Apple promised that the new format of AirPods 3 should fit better in all ears, without leaving that feeling that the device could fall at any time. However, the new model is slightly heavier than the AirPods 2, weighing 0.28 grams more in each ear.

3rd generation AirPods (Image: Playback/ Apple)
3rd generation AirPods (Image: Playback/ Apple)

Features and sound quality

While many basic features are the same on both AirPods, the most important differences between the two models involve the sound technology implemented in the third generation. Apple now includes features that were previously exclusive to AirPods Pro in the new version of its wireless headphones.

Thus, the new AirPods 3 arrived with the famous Apple Space Audio, with dynamic head tracking, which promises an immersive sound experience.

Another feature present in the new generation of AirPods is the Adaptive Equalization (exclusive to the manufacturer), which adjusts the music according to the shape of the user’s ear. A new high-amplitude driver and dynamic range amplifier promise powerful bass and crystal-clear treble.

Apple AirPods 3 and all its features (Image: Press/ Apple)
Apple AirPods 3 and all its features (Image: Press/ Apple)

The new AirPods 3 also offer water and sweat resistance, with IPX4 certification, a feature that is not present in the second generation. The list of commands has also been expanded. While on AirPods 2 there was only the possibility of tapping twice to activate a single pre-configured command, AirPods 3 bring all of these options by tapping once, twice, three times, or holding down:

Commands two AirPods 2:

  • Two taps to play, change music or answer a call. The user must configure one of these options.

Commands two AirPods 3:

  • One touch to play, pause or answer a call
  • Two taps to advance a track
  • Three taps to go back a track
  • Press and hold to activate Siri

battery and charging

The new AirPods 3 draw attention for longer battery life. Even bringing functions similar to the AirPods Pro, the new model promises an extra hour and a half of audio autonomy with a charge, totaling six hours of playback. Already the AirPods 2 withstand up to five hours of autonomy in the same conditions.

Apple’s third-generation wireless headset also promises to four hours of conversation with a single charge, while the previous model supports three hours.

If we count on the full charge of the cases of the two models, the third generation headphones guarantee up to thirty hours of audio and twenty hours of conversation, while the second generation ones withstand around twenty four hours of audio and eighteen hours of conversation.

AirPods (2nd generation) AirPods (3rd generation)
Chip H1 H1
What’s up, Siri? By voice and always active By voice and always active
audio technology does not have Space Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking

Adaptive Equalization

Apple Exclusive High Amplitude Driver

Exclusive amplifier with high dynamic range

Water and sweat resistance does not have Yes (IPX4 certification)
battery life Up to five hours of audio on just one recharge

Up to three hours of talk time with just one recharge

Up to six hours of audio on just one recharge (up to five hours with Spatial Audio enabled)

Up to four hours of talk time with just one recharge

Battery life with case More than 24 hours of audio

Up to 18 hours of conversation

With 15 minutes in the case, you get up to three hours of audio or up to two hours of conversation

Up to 30 hours of audio

Up to 20 hours of conversation

With five minutes in the case, you get about an hour of audio or about an hour of conversation

Commands Double tap to play, change music or answer a call Press once to play, pause or answer a call

Press twice to advance

Press three times to go back

Press and hold to activate Siri

Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
refill case Works with Lightning connector Works with MagSafe and Qi standard chargers or with the Lightning connector
Weight of each phone 4 grams 4.28 grams
Dimensions of the headphones Height: 40.5 mm

Largura: 16,5 mm

Thickness: 18.0 mm

Height: 30.79 mm

Largura: 18,26 mm

Depth: 19.21 mm

case weight 38.2 grams 37.91 grams
Case dimensions Height: 53.5 mm

Largura: 44,3 mm

Thickness: 21.3 mm

Height: 46.40 mm

Largura: 54,40 mm

Depth: 21.38 mm

Box contents AirPods

refill case

Lightning Cable to USB‑A

Documentation

AirPods

MagSafe Refill Case

Lightning cable to USB-C

Documentation

Here’s the main difference: the price. The AirPods 2, being a 2019 release, has become the most affordable model in Apple’s line of wireless headphones. The new AirPods 3 entered as an intermediate version, between the second generation and the Pro:

What are the prices of AirPods?

AirPods 2 (2019): R$ 1,649.00 at the official Apple store
AirPods 3 (2021): R$ 2,399.00 at the official Apple store
AirPods Pro: R$ 2,999.00 at the official Apple store

Pay attention to compatibility:

The new 3rd generation AirPods no longer work on some older Apple devices that support the previous model, check out the compatibility table:

AirPods 2 AirPods 3
iPhone iPhone 5s and later iPhone SE and later
iPads 5th generation iPad and later

iPad Pro (all)

iPad Air (all)

iPad mini 2nd generation and later

5th generation iPad and later

iPad Pro (all)

iPad Air 2nd generation and later

iPad mini 4th generation and later

iPod touch iPod touch (7th generation)

iPod touch (6th generation)

iPod touch (7th generation)
Macs MacBook 12″ (2015 to 2017)

MacBook Air (from 2012)

MacBook Pro (from 2012)

iMac (since 2012)

iMac Pro (2017)

Mac mini (since 2012)

Mac Pro (since 2013)

MacBook 12″ (2015 to 2017)

MacBook Air (from 2012)

MacBook Pro (from 2012)

iMac (since 2012)

iMac Pro (2017)

Mac mini (since 2012)

Mac Pro (since 2013)

Apple Watch Series 1 and later Series 1 and later
Apple TV 4K e HD 4K e HD

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