Today, com­pa­nies pro­duce a lot of head­phones, which dif­fer in the type of design, sig­nal trans­mis­sion method, and acoustic design. But it is wire­less mod­els that are most pop­u­lar. In the first half of 2022, they occu­pied 70% of the Russ­ian head­phone mar­ket, accord­ing to retail­ers. Apple is back in the top three most pop­u­lar brands. Today we will talk about the wire­less head­phones Air­Pods 2, 3, Pro (1st gen­er­a­tion) and the dif­fer­ences between these mod­els.

Head­phones are a pop­u­lar gad­get and a beau­ti­ful acces­so­ry. Pho­to: livegadgetbd.com

Features of Apple AirPods 2, 3, Pro

Feature/Model 2 gen­er­a­tion 3rd gen­er­a­tion Pro
Active noise can­cel­la­tion Yes
trans­par­ent mode Yes
Com­mu­ni­ca­tion mode Yes
Spa­tial Audio Yes Yes
Mois­ture pro­tec­tion Yes (IPX4) Yes (IPX4)
Chip H1 H1 H1
Oper­at­ing time in audio mode (hours) 5 6 4.5
Motion detec­tion sen­sor Yes Yes Yes
“Hey Siri” fea­ture Yes Yes Yes
Head­phone size (mm) 40.5x16.5x18 30.79x18.26x19.21 30.9x21.8x24
Case size (mm) 53.5x44.3x21.3 46.40x54.40x21.38 45.2x60.6x21.7


Apple strives to make smart gad­gets in a min­i­mal­ist design. And the brand does it very well. All gen­er­a­tions have a com­mon style. All of them are made of glossy plas­tic and packed in a shiny case.

Case dif­fer­ences. The 3rd gen­er­a­tion and Pro ver­sions have the same shape, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion case is nar­row­er and elon­gat­ed. There is also a slight dif­fer­ence in weight:

  • Air­Pods 2 — 38 g;
  • 3rd gen­er­a­tion — 37 g;
  • Pro — 45 g.

Impor­tant addi­tion: Air­Pods 2 have a reg­u­lar case, while the oth­er two mod­els come with wire­less charg­ing.

The design of the gad­gets them­selves is slight­ly dif­fer­ent. Air­Pods 2nd and 3rd gen­er­a­tion can’t adjust to the pin­na. They have a com­plete­ly plas­tic head­phone case. And the Pro has 3 types of inter­change­able ear pads in dif­fer­ent sizes (S, M, L). You can choose the right option for your ear.

A snug fit of the ear pads is pos­si­ble only in this mod­el. And it pro­vides bet­ter iso­la­tion from extra­ne­ous sounds and clear sound with­out addi­tion­al noise.

The weight of all head­phones is 4 g. But the 2nd gen­er­a­tion mod­el has the most elon­gat­ed shape (40 mm in length), and the largest is the Pro ver­sion.

The design of the 2nd gen­er­a­tion ver­sion is very dif­fer­ent from the Pro and 3rd gen­er­a­tion mod­els. Pho­to: drnaeemslab.com

Sound and features

Above, we have already begun to talk about the fact that in the orig­i­nal Apple Air­Pods Pro head­phones, the ear cush­ions fit snug­ly to the ear. This func­tion­al fea­ture allowed the intro­duc­tion of tech­nol­o­gy active noise can­cel­la­tion.

What is Active Noise Can­cel­la­tion? This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to muf­fle the sounds from the out­side world. It’s not just rais­ing the vol­ume of the music. An exter­nal micro­phone built into the ear­piece picks up noise and ana­lyzes it and emits invert­ed waves. They “extin­guish” the sur­round­ing sounds, and you do not hear them.

Next mode “Trans­paren­cy” also avail­able on the Pro ver­sion of the head­phones. It allows you to hear sounds from out­side. But the mode still does not skip absolute­ly every­thing. Hard­ware back­ground noise (hum of cars, wind) is muf­fled more strong­ly. But voic­es, bird­song and oth­er sounds sound dis­tinct. And if you need to make the speech of the inter­locu­tor as clear and loud as pos­si­ble, just turn on the “Com­mu­ni­ca­tion” mode.

Anoth­er use­ful option is spa­tial audio. It is avail­able for ver­sions of Apple Air­Pods 3 and Pro wire­less head­phones. Allows you to cre­ate sur­round sound with the effect of pres­ence.

There are no spe­cial, unique options in the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of Air­Pods. The sound is pow­er­ful and clear, but there are no addi­tion­al improve­ments.

Apple Air­Pods are com­pact head­phones with a rec­og­niz­able design and great sound. Pho­to: nypost.com

Hardware and management

All three ver­sions have an H1 chip. It pro­vides a sta­ble con­nec­tion with oth­er gad­gets, Siri acti­va­tion by voice. Now (com­pared to 1st gen­er­a­tion Air­Pods and W1 chip), you can switch between devices 2 times faster, and the sound delay in games has been reduced by 30%.

Apple head­phones can be con­trolled with ges­tures and voice. Let’s talk about each ver­sion in detail.

Con­trols in Air­Pods 2:

  • the phrase “Hey Siri” to turn on / off the melody, dial a num­ber;
  • dou­ble tap on the ear­piece: play, next track, answer the call.

Con­trols in Air­Pods 3:

  • the phrase “Hey Siri” to turn on / off the melody, dial a num­ber;
  • one touch — turn on / off the music, answer the call;
  • dou­ble tap — next melody;
  • triple tap — pre­vi­ous melody;
  • long touch — call Siri.

Con­trols in Air­Pods Pro:

  • the phrase “Hey Siri” to turn on / off the melody, dial a num­ber;
  • one touch — turn on / off the music, answer the call;
  • dou­ble tap — next melody;
  • triple tap — pre­vi­ous melody;
  • long touch — turn on noise reduc­tion or trans­paren­cy mode.

Additional features

Wire­less head­phones have one impor­tant dis­ad­van­tage — they dis­charge over time. But Apple is improv­ing its tech­nol­o­gy so that it can last as long as pos­si­ble on a sin­gle charge. The oper­at­ing time in the music lis­ten­ing mode (with­out recharg­ing) is dif­fer­ent for all mod­els:

  • Pro — 4.5 hours;
  • 2 gen­er­a­tion — 5 hours;
  • 3rd gen­er­a­tion Air­Pods — 6 hours.

In talk mode with­out recharg­ing:

  • Pro — 3.5 hours;
  • 2nd gen­er­a­tion — 3 hours;
  • 3rd gen­er­a­tion Air­Pods — 4 hours.

This time is enough for the trip to work and back, train­ing and even part of the work­ing day.

Visu­al dif­fer­ence between the 2nd gen­er­a­tion and the Pro ver­sion. Pho­to: arstechnica.com

The 3rd gen­er­a­tion and Pro ver­sion have an impor­tant advan­tage — IPX4 mois­ture pro­tec­tion. This does not mean that they can swim. But they will with­stand drops of sweat and water on the sur­face. These ver­sions of Air­Pods can be used dur­ing:

  • doing sports;
  • light rain or snow.

You don’t have to show­er in them. Since gad­gets are not pro­tect­ed from a direct jet of water. Air­Pods 2 gen­er­a­tions do not have mois­ture pro­tec­tion at all.


Air­Pods 2 the sim­plest mod­el, if you eval­u­ate the num­ber of use­ful options and audio tech­nol­o­gy. This ver­sion has the basic high-qual­i­ty sound that all Apple head­phones have, min­i­mal ges­ture con­trol. But this mod­el is the most bud­getary. There­fore, if you want inex­pen­sive and orig­i­nal Apple Air­Pods, then the clas­sic ver­sion of the 2nd gen­er­a­tion is a great choice.

To the 3rd gen­er­a­tion built-in adap­tive equal­iz­er and ampli­fi­er with a wide dynam­ic range. This improves the qual­i­ty of the sound, its puri­ty, evens it out. Also, this mod­el has advanced ges­ture con­trol, there is pro­tec­tion against water drops on the sur­face. But they lack noise can­cel­la­tion and the all-plas­tic shape may not be com­fort­able for every­one. Espe­cial­ly if you wear the device for a long time.

If you spend most of the day wear­ing head­phones, then Pro ver­sion - the best solu­tion. Soft ear cush­ions do not put pres­sure on the ears, but fit snug­ly. There are modes that allow you to close from the sounds of the out­side world and vice ver­sa, to com­mu­ni­cate with head­phones. Of the three mod­els described, this one has the most use­ful options.

Bonus — Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation

Final­ly, a few words about the new mod­el from Apple. What to expect from the nov­el­ty of autumn 2022? Apple has improved the Pro ver­sion of the head­phones. Here are the changes:

  • now there are 4 types of lin­ers instead of 3: XS (there weren’t in the first gen­er­a­tion), S, M, L;
  • improved search func­tion. Espe­cial­ly for those who often lose small acces­sories. The search works on the prin­ci­ple of “cold” (if far from the sub­ject) — “hot” (if near). The case may beep. Then it’s easy to find;
  • Apple Air­Pods Pro 2nd Gen­er­a­tion now has a touch sen­sor on the head­band. And you can adjust the vol­ume sim­ply by swip­ing (easy to swipe);
  • the sound has changed a bit. Bass­es have become deep­er (vibra­tions, claps are felt brighter), and high sounds have become clear­er (espe­cial­ly heard on vocal parts);
  • new H2 chip. Works 2 times bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion chip. It reacts faster to ambi­ent noise, adjust­ing the noise reduc­tion and cor­rect­ing the sound of music depend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion.

We hope that this mate­r­i­al will help you choose the best head­phones among the pop­u­lar ver­sions from Apple.