Here’s how the brand new AirPods Pro evaluate to the remainder of the AirPods lineup


At its “Far Out” occasion on Wednesday, Apple launched a brand new pair of AirPods Pro alongside the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup and long-rumored Apple Watch Ultra. The second-gen AirPods Pro are set to reach on September twenty third, bringing with them a brand new H2 chip that Apple claims ought to cancel “up to twice as much noise” as its predecessor, in addition to swipe-based controls and quite a few different options.

This signifies that, as of this week, the official AirPods lineup consists of the next fashions: the second-gen AirPods, the third-gen AirPods, the second-gen AirPods Pro, and the AirPods Max. Also, whereas Apple not sells them, you too can nonetheless purchase the first-gen AirPods Pro from quite a few retailers, together with Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

The second-gen AirPods Pro provide quite a few enhancements over their predecessor, however are they definitely worth the $249 sticker worth? With such a variety of AirPods obtainable at varied worth factors, that’s a tricky query to reply. Lucky for you, we’ve in contrast every AirPods mannequin beneath. We have but to overview the brand new AirPods Pro, nevertheless, now we have printed our preliminary hands-on tackle the earbuds, which you’ll take a look at right here.

2022 AirPods lineup comparability

Specification AirPods (second-gen) AirPods (third-gen) AirPods Pro (first-gen) AirPods Pro (second-gen) AirPods Max
Specification AirPods (second-gen) AirPods (third-gen) AirPods Pro (first-gen) AirPods Pro (second-gen) AirPods Max
Active noise canceling / discount No No Yes Yes Yes
Transparency mode No No Yes Yes Yes
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.0
Earbud measurement (mm) 40.5 x 16.5 x 18.0 30.8 x 18.3 x 19.2 30.9 x 21.8 x 24 30.9 x 21.8 x 24 187.3 x 168.6 x 83.4
Case measurement (mm) 53.5 x 44.3 x 21.3 46.4 x 54.4 x 21.4 45.2 x 60.6 x 21.7 45.2 x 60.6 x 21.7 134.5
Earbud weight (grams) 4 4.28 5.4 5.3 384.8
Case weight (grams) 38.2 37.91 45.6 50.8 134.5
Battery (earbud) Up to five hours Up to six hours Up to 4.5 hours Up to six hours Up to twenty hours
Battery (case) More than 24 hours Up to 30 hours More than 24 hours Up to 30 hours N/A
Water resistance earbuds No IPX4 IPX4 IPX4 No
Water resistance charging case No IPX4 IPX4 IPX4 No
Wired charging Yes, by way of Lightning Yes, by way of Lightning Lightning connector Yes, by way of Lightning Yes, by way of Lightning
Wireless charging No Yes, by way of Qi-certified or MagSafe chargers Yes, by way of Qi-certified or MagSafe chargers Yes, by way of Qi-certified or MagSafe chargers No
Included charging cable Lightning to USB-A Lightning to USB-C Lightning to USB-C Lightning to USB-C Lightning to USB-C
Price $129 (normally on sale for $99) 179 (normally on sale for $149.99-$169.99) $249 (normally on sale for $179) $249 549 (normally on sale for $479)
Custom chips Apple H1 Apple H1 Apple H1 Apple H2 Apple H1
Availability Available now Available now Available now Available for preorder Available now

Design and construct high quality

With the exception of the AirPods Max, all the AirPods in Apple’s present lineup are in-ear, true wi-fi earbuds. In comparability to the second-gen AirPods, the third-gen mannequin and each generations of the AirPods Pro provide shorter stems which might be barely heavier and wider. If a snug match issues loads to you, look additionally to the primary and second-gen AirPods Pro. The latter additionally characteristic replaceable silicone ear suggestions in varied sizes, although solely the second-gen AirPods Pro sport the extra-small sizing. In addition, when you intend to make use of the earbuds throughout intense exercise periods, it might be clever to keep away from the second-gen AirPods and AirPods Max, as neither of them provide any type of sweat and water resistance.

The third-gen AirPods bear a more in-depth resemblance to the AirPods Pro than the second-gen mannequin.

In distinction to the plastic AirPods, the AirPods Max are a big pair of over-ear headphones that gives chrome steel earcups with a curvy mesh headband. Thus, naturally, they’re the heaviest and largest within the lineup. They additionally provide extra shade choices; the earbuds solely are available white, however you should buy the Max in silver, house gray, blue, pink, and inexperienced.

Charging circumstances (MagSafe, Lightning, and so on.)

Apple sells two circumstances with its earbuds: a wired charging case that costs by way of a normal Lightning cable and a MagSafe-compatible mannequin that may additionally cost by way of Lightning. All of the MagSafe charging circumstances are appropriate with Apple’s MagSafe know-how, in addition to different Qi-compatible wi-fi chargers.

However, Apple solely sells the second-gen AirPods with the Lightning Charging Case, which solely offers your AirPods as much as 24 hours of listening time as a substitute of the 30 hours the opposite circumstances provide. Unlike the opposite charging circumstances within the AirPods lineup, Apple’s Lighting Charging Case additionally isn’t sweat- or water resistant. In distinction, you should buy the third-gen AirPods with both a MagSafe Charging Case for $179 or a Lightning Charging Case for $169, although, we’d counsel that you just forgo the latter when you can afford to.

A person holds a lanyard that has a pair of AirPods Pro attached on the end.

The second-gen AirPods Pro include a Find My-ready case that additionally features a built-in lanyard loop.
Image: Apple

The first-gen AirPods Pro got here with a Lightning-only charging case once they launched in 2019, but it surely’s turn into tougher to seek out that mannequin in inventory. Now each generations of the AirPods Pro include a MagSafe charging case, although, the case for the newer mannequin differs from its predecessor and the third-gen AirPods in that it incorporates a built-in speaker and Find My assist, which lets you preserve tabs on it extra simply. Apple additionally outfitted it with a built-in loop, permitting you to connect the case to a lanyard.

As for the AirPods Max, they arrive with their very own Smart Case, which is designed to protect battery life by placing the headphones into a really low energy state. Sadly, as famous in our AirPods Max overview, Apple’s Smart Case just isn’t significantly nice, primarily as a result of it does a foul job of defending your headphones. The case additionally will get soiled too simply and has too many slits, which makes it straightforward for the ear cups to get scratched. Unlike Apple’s newest MagSafe Charging Case, it’s additionally not water resistant.

Noise cancellation, spatial audio, and different options

When it involves sound high quality, we will safely say that each one of Apple’s AirPods — excluding the second-gen AirPods Pro, which now we have but to check — do an ideal job. Yet every mannequin provides a special set of options, a few of which make for a greater listening expertise.

If you’re searching for a pair of noise-canceling earbuds, you’ll need to take a look at the AirPods Max or both era of the AirPods Pro. All three provide lively noise cancellation, which silences background noise so you may higher give attention to what you’re listening to. They additionally provide a useful transparency mode, so you may hear ambient sounds round you whereas listening to music and different audio content material.


Both the first- and second-gen AirPods Pro, in addition to the AirPods Max, provide lively noise cancellation.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

However, the place they differ is chips. The AirPods Max and the majority of Apple’s AirPods lineup, together with the first-gen AirPods Pro, are powered by Apple’s H1 chip, whereas the second-gen AirPods Pro makes use of Apple’s new H2 chip. As a consequence, the second-gen AirPods Pro provide an improved Adaptive Transparency mode that ought to assist cut back harsh noises in your surroundings, together with higher acoustics. Apple additionally says the brand new AirPods Pro can cancel as much as twice the quantity of noise because the first-gen AirPods Pro, a declare we’ve but to check.


The second-gen AirPods Pro provide spatial audio assist, very similar to the unique mannequin.
Image: Apple

With the exception of the entry-level AirPods, every pair of AirPods provide customized spatial audio assist with dynamic head monitoring throughout all Apple gadgets. As a consequence, the more moderen AirPods fashions provide a extra immersive, theater-like sound high quality expertise than the second-gen mannequin, which lacks mentioned characteristic. The second-gen mannequin additionally lacks adaptive EQ, which supposedly adjusts output based mostly in your ear form, and customized high-excursion Apple drivers, which ship extra highly effective bass. All aside from the AirPods Max additionally embody a customized excessive dynamic vary amplifier that gives clear sound and elongates battery life.

Finally, whereas the second-gen AirPods, first-gen AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max all provide twin optical sensors that assist detect once they’re in (or on) your ears, the third-gen AirPods and second-gen AirPods Pro don’t. Instead, the newer fashions use a pores and skin detection sensor to extra precisely gauge whether or not your AirPods are in your ears or not and, thus, whether or not they need to play or pause audio.

Microphones

All of Apple’s in-ear AirPods provide two beamforming mics in every ear cup, with know-how that ought to cut back exterior noise and assist higher focus in your voice. However, in contrast to the opposite earbuds, the second-gen AirPods lack inward-facing microphones, so that they’re unable to hear within your ear to scale back inside sounds. The AirPods Max, in the meantime, characteristic 9 microphones: eight for lively noise cancellation and three for voice pickup.


The third-gen AirPods and each generations of the AirPods Pro provide MagSafe charging circumstances.

Battery life

The AirPods Max are, unsurprisingly, the clear winner when it comes to battery life. Apple says they provide as much as 20 hours of listening time on a single cost with lively noise cancellation or the transparency mode on. With spatial audio enabled, the AirPods Max provide as much as 20 hours of video playback on a single cost. Moreover, Apple claims a mere 5 minutes of charging can present round 1.5 hours of listening time.

Interestingly, regardless of being dearer than the third-gen AirPods, the second-gen AirPods Pro provide about the identical battery life, whereas the first-gen AirPods Pro provide even much less. Apple says each the third-gen AirPods and second-gen AirPods Pro provide a most of six hours of listening time and as much as 30 hours with the included charging case; nevertheless, the brand new AirPods Pro provide as much as 5.5 hours of battery life with spatial audio and head monitoring turned on, whereas the third-gen AirPods provide a most of 5 hours.

In distinction, the first-gen AirPods Pro supplied solely a most of 4.5 hours of listening time with lively noise cancellation on and 5 hours with it off, and as much as 24 hours of listening time with the included charging case. If you have been to cost any of the three fashions for 5 minutes, nevertheless, it’s best to be capable of get round an hour of listening time.

Naturally, the second-gen AirPods provide the least quantity of battery life within the lineup. Apple claims the older AirPods provide as much as 5 hours of listening time on a single cost, and over 24 hours of listening time with the included charging case. On paper, the second-gen AirPods must be within the case for quarter-hour to attain as much as three hours of listening time.

Controls

The second-gen AirPods Pro are Apple’s first earbuds to supply swipe-based controls. This means you may swipe up or down on the stem to regulate the quantity. However, like their predecessor and the in-ear AirPods, they nonetheless depend on tactile buttons for different settings. For instance, you’ll must click on the stem to pause, play, or reply a name on the third-gen AirPods and each generations of the AirPods Pro. No matter which AirPods mannequin you purchase, nevertheless, you’ll be capable of launch Siri utilizing a easy voice command.


With the second-gen AirPods Pro, you merely must swipe up or down on the stem to regulate the quantity.
Image: Apple

In distinction, the over-ear AirPods Max provide bodily controls. Each pair incorporates a Digital Crown — a bigger model than the dial on the Apple Watch — in addition to a secondary button you should use to alternate between lively noise cancellation and transparency modes. However, there is no such thing as a energy button. Rather, they activate when positioned in your head.

Compatibility (and connectivity)

No matter which AirPods you purchase, you’ll be capable of routinely swap between your varied Apple gadgets. All of the AirPods are additionally appropriate with the most recent iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs. However, the second-gen AirPods additionally work with older gadgets, just like the iPhone 6 and the second-generation iPad Mini.

Pricing and availability

The most evident distinction between every AirPods mannequin is the worth. The $129 second-gen AirPods begin at $129, though we frequently see third-party retailers like Amazon sell them for $99. The third-gen AirPods, in the meantime, fluctuate in worth relying upon which one you purchase. Apple sells the version with a Lightning Charging Case for $169, whereas the mannequin with the MagSafe charging case goes for $179. However, we commonly see the third-gen earbuds promote for anyplace between $149.99 and $169.99 at Amazon, Target, and elsewhere.


AirPods (third-gen) with MagSafe Charging Case

Similar in look to their sleeker sibling, the AirPods Pro, the most recent entry-level AirPods boast a brand new charging case and shorter stems. They’re additionally waterproof, in contrast to the 2019 mannequin, and sport higher battery life.

While Apple not sells them, you too can nonetheless purchase the first-gen AirPods Pro on sale usually for round $174 as a substitute of $249 from varied retailers, together with Walmart. The latest AirPods Pros, aka the second-gen mannequin, are currently available for preorder for $249, however will probably go on sale as we method Black Friday. Finally, the most costly pair of AirPods, the AirPods Max, are listed at $549 however are sometimes on sale for round $479.

A hand holding Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro inside of its charging case.

AirPods Pro (second-gen) with MagSafe Charging Case

Apple’s newest AirPods Pro take after the last-gen mannequin, however embody swipe controls and a brand new H2 chip that permits for improved noise cancellation. They additionally include a water resistant charging case that gives assist for Apple’s strong Find My community.


Apple AirPods Max

Apple’s AirPods Max characteristic exemplary construct high quality, sound phenomenal, and sustain with the very best at noise cancellation.

Which must you purchase?

Each mannequin within the present AirPods lineup provides good sound high quality, reliability, and nice ease of use. But which you can purchase relies upon upon your wants and price range.

If you need noise-canceling, over-ear headphones, it’s a straightforward alternative: you can purchase the AirPods Max. Yet issues get a bit extra complicated when you’re available on the market for a pair of true wi-fi earbuds. If you need lively noise cancellation, you’ll need to take into account the AirPods Pro, as they’re the one earbuds within the present AirPods lineup that provide it. You may additionally need to take into account the AirPods Pro (and even the third-gen AirPods) when you typically interact in exercises, as they provide IPX4 sweat and water resistance. Plus, each the first- and second-gen AirPods Pro include replaceable ear suggestions, which permit for a safer, snug match.


The AirPods Max are presently the one over-ear headphones within the AirPods lineup.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

If you need the mannequin with the very best noise cancellation, although, that’s prone to be the second-gen AirPods Pro. While we haven’t but examined these claims, Apple says they are going to be capable of cancel out twice as a lot noise as their predecessor, whereas providing an improved Adaptive Transparency mode. If you could have very small ears, you might need to go for the second-gen AirPods Pro, as they arrive with a pair of extra-small ear suggestions.

On the opposite hand, when you’re searching for one thing extra budget-friendly, the first-gen AirPods Pro are sometimes on sale for round $179.99. That’s roughly the identical worth as third-gen AirPods, and solely $50 greater than the entry-level, second-gen AirPods. Yet they provide lively noise cancellation, too, in addition to three replaceable units of customizable ear suggestions. They additionally provide options the third-gen AirPods boast over the second-gen AirPods, like sweat and water resistance, a MagSafe charging case, and higher spatial audio assist.


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