Comparison of AirPods 1, 2, 3 (Pro) - what is the difference and what to choose?

The rumors went around for a long time, but we waited for the new AirPods Pro wireless headphones from Apple. They have an updated design, there are new features and price. All this does not prevent you from immediately recognizing in them the continuation of the AirPods line.

The original model was often scolded for, that it does not close the ear canal, skipping all the sounds outside. Now this flaw is in the past, and at the same time, active noise reduction appeared. On paper, these headphones are much better than the old ones, but does it make sense to pay 20990 rubles for them - how much do AirPods Pro cost in Russia on .

The authors will help us answer this question with and . The former are engaged in professional testing and review of various audio equipment, including headphones, the latter develop device repair manuals, paying a lot of attention to Apple gadgets.

This great material is based on an article by Adam Molina from SoundGuys, updated with iFixit information on the maintainability of wireless headphones, a test of the noise reduction operation and data from the official Apple website. Links to the original materials can be found in the text.

The design of AirPods Pro

The updated design became the basis for the appearance of a completely different class of device. AirPods Pro are made absolutely comfortable for placement in the ear cavity. Moreover, owners will also receive three replaceable silicone ear pads of S sizes included with the device, M and L. They are easy to fix on the earphone.

So anyone will be able to choose comfortable inserts for themselves. This will allow you to concentrate on the feeling of the music, not devices in the ear. There is a special conical cavity inside each insert, which allows you to adapt to the geometry of the ear and fit better in it. Headphone color - white, the black option predicted by insiders did not appear on sale.

At the bottom of the headphones there is a pressure sensor, which allows how to manage music and calls, so switch from active noise reduction to Transparent mode and vice versa (more details below).

The outdoor microphone is covered with a mesh, which allows the sound to remain clear even in windy weather.


Above all. How they sound, better than AirPods?

There are a lot of good things to say about AirPods, but not about their sound quality. It was generally below average, and in noisy conditions - even close to zero.

The temptation to say is very high, that AirPods Pro has about the same sound profile, it’s just that the headphones themselves have now become plug-in. And, they say, that’s the only reason they sound better. Many in the West have done so, this is their right. But I don’t agree at all.

What I tested AirPods Pro on:

▸ iPhone 11 Pro Max ▸ iPad Pro 2021 ▸ Apple Watch Series 5 ▸ MacBook Pro (2017) MacBook 12 (2016) ▸ Several Android smartphones ▸ Windows PC

I will immediately close the issue of dependence on the source. Many AirPods’chips’ are not available on Android, and on Windows computers, it will not be possible to ’start’ anything at all, except for sound and microphone. Quite expected, nothing new.

In terms of sound quality, it all depends on, does your source support AAC codec via Bluetooth. If there’s, then the sound will be the same with iPhone/iPad, and if not, that’s noticeably worse. Windows computers have problems with this, ’start’ AAC in this systemit turns out only with a tambourine

Naturally, Apple gadgets had the best results. The difference in quality between Apple Watch and, let’s say, I don’t notice the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Well what, are they playing well?


AirPods Pro play sound differently, than I expected (and many others, judging by the opinion in the office). They do not seek to repeat the V-shaped frequency response, which almost all manufacturers of wireless headphones are tightly hooked on – and this can scare away those who are accustomed to such a sound profile from the threshold.


Medium frequencies:

High frequencies:

The general impression is this. Now you can listen to in AirPods. generally any genres

Five seconds with AirPods Pro is enough, to compare them with the first-generation AirPods has become absolutely meaningless. I tried anyway, by connecting and those, and others in iOS 13 sound separation mode. And now I don’t understand people at all, who write, that the new model plays ‘about the same way’.

The usual ’subs’ have practically no bass, and the high frequencies are twisted to discomfort at a volume above average. The detail in comparison with the Pro seems to be absent at all, the sounds merge into a common ‘mess’.

I will confidently say, what is AirPods Prooverplay 99% of fully wireless headphones

I also noticed, that Pro is very loud. So much, which is above average, I just can’t listen to them even in the subway, and even without active noise reduction. Moreover, at a volume above average, the typical drop in playback quality for wireless headphones does not manifest itself.

The headphones sound extremely stable, the quality does not change even in conditions of strong interference. I have one very good model from another manufacturer, and it constantly degrades the sound, once I get into the coverage area of several 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Nothing like this happens with AirPods Pro.

I will also praise AirPods Pro’s resistance to wireless interference

There is a place near our office on Belorusskaya metro station, where because of the shock intersection of the cameras, stops, power lines and Wi-Fi networks ‘die’ any wireless headphones for at least a thousand rubles, at least for 50 thousand rubles. I also know the area next to the Kremlin, where all TWS models always have at least one ‘ear’ falling off.

The 2nd generation AirPods worked better in these two places than all other headphones (with the exception of the new Beats, which is predictable). And the AirPods Pro turned out to be no worse. Moreover, for the first time I managed to walk from Belorusskaya to Tverskaya in them, never losing a signal at all.

Is it an accident or not, ‘proshki’ in my experiencethey are leading in connection stability

Dimensions of AirPods Pro

The headphones have become noticeably shorter – only 30.9 mm instead of 40.5 for AirPods 2. But at the same time their width has grown – it is now 21.8 mm instead of 16.5 mm for its predecessor. AirPods Pro steel and thicker - 24 mm instead of 18 mm. The new headset also weighs more than its predecessor - 5.4 grams instead of 4 for AirPods 2.

The shape and size of the headphones also affected the size of the charging case. It has become noticeably longer – 60.6 mm versus 44.3 mm, but at the same time it is lower - 45.2 mm versus 53.5 mm. The thickness remained almost the same – 21.7 mm versus 21.3 mm for the predecessor. The weight of the case has also changed slightly – 45.6 g versus 40 g. The design itself has remained the same – the charging indicator is present and is located in the same place.


The shape of the headphones themselves and the case

On the left is a fake, on the right is the original

The original headphone case is slightly rounded on the sides and smoothly transitions from the front to the back. Fake often, rather, rectangular, than oval. Or it has rounded sides, but in front and behind, it is as flat as possible by itself.

The ‘airpods’ themselves, the Chinese have learned to copy almost flawlessly. The only external difference is their size.

AirPods Pro Sound (Active noise reduction and Transparent Mode)

The main feature of this product is active noise reduction, which allows you to provide immersive sound, the immersion effect. For this purpose, as many as two microphones are used. The outdoor one picks up external sounds and analyzes nearby noises. AirPods Pro compensates them with a reverse sound wave with the same amplitude before feeding to the speaker. And inside the earphone there is a second microphone, responsible for removing residual noise with the help of a reverse sound wave.

The active noise reduction function is responsible for the continuous analysis of sounds, doing this 200 times per second. The adaptive equalizer automatically adjusts the low and medium frequencies according to the geometry of the device owner’s ear. The AirPods Pro has a special amplifier with a wide dynamic range, which provides a clear and clear sound, while saving battery power. A special driver with a wide amplitude and low distortion is responsible for the rich bass sound (up to 20 Hz) and the detail of high and medium frequencies.

Background noise is compensated by the driver using an amplifier, and the H1 chip adjusts the volume.

Clicking on the lower part of the case switches from active noise reduction mode to Transparent mode. This will make it possible to perceive not only music, but also external sounds, and in a natural form. This mode will allow you to hear transport while walking or an announcement while riding in transport.

In Transparent mode, a pressure equalization system is used, and the software drowns out only the necessary number of noises.


Fit and wearing comfort. Now they stick

For many years, the owners of AirPods have been begging for a plug-in model and finally achieved their goal. Now it’s not enough to put headphones in your ear – you need to press them down a little more from the outside.

Unlike other plug-in headphones, at AirPods Provery small inserts

The fears were absolutely unnecessary, because the inserts fit perfectly into the entire channel, they just don’t get in there very deep. There is a ‘vacuum’ effect. Who uses plug-in headphones, he knows, what I’m talking about.

The inserts themselves differ significantly from those, which the owners of plug-in headphones are used to. They are soft on the outside, but dense inside, with a strong ring in the middle, on which a protective acoustic grid of white color is installed:

Be careful with her, don’t puncture, if you try to clean the earphone with cotton swabs.

It is absolutely impossible to put your own earbuds from other headphones – they even have nothing to gain a foothold for. So use the, what Apple put into the kit.

And she invested in fact 3 pairs of inserts

How to change AirPods Pro earbuds? Pinch them between your fingers and pull. Strongly. Possible, very, very much – to such an extent, it’s like they’re about to break! Nothing wrong, this is the norm.

The thing is, that the inserts are almost magnetic: there is an ingenious (it was necessary to think of such a thing) latch in each along the perimeter, which is inserted into the headphone case with a click. No pressure is needed at the same time, which strongly contrasts with the removal process.


Replacement inserts are about to appear in the USA, it will cost only $4 (256 rubles) per set. We are waiting with us and while we use it carefully.
In the subject:
In terms of wearing comfort, I have no complaints about AirPods Pro. Moreover, it seems to me, that Pro sitmuch better

I wore them in a hat, hood, in the cold, the wind, at home, in the subway and everywhere else, wherever possible. I ran a couple of times. And also fundamentally jumped on one leg, trying to make them fall out of the ears (failed). Of course, for percussion classes in the gym, the option with earplugs a la Powerbeats Pro will be slightly preferable, but AirPods obviously won’t let you down either.

At the same time, I read several Western reviews from people, which is just more uncomfortable to wear Pro, but the usual AirPods suited them better. So here I leave the question open, better check for yourself.

Autonomy (battery) of AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro headphones are capable of charging wirelessly. The wireless charging case of the new form makes it possible to use headphones for more than a day in audio listening mode and for more than 18 hours in talk mode under conditions of periodic recharging. At the same time, the case is compatible with Qi standard chargers. In offline mode, AirPods Pro can work up to 4.5 hours. Just 5 minutes of charging in the case will allow the device to work for another hour.


Now a little run of ‘question/answer’





















See also:Comparing iPhone XS and iPhone XR: Is there a significant difference?




How much

Q: AirPods












No, thanks to the special shape, the left earphone cannot be inserted into the right ear.



Water protection AirPods Pro

Protection against sweat and water is implemented according to the IPX4 standard, what isHowever, it does not imply full water resistance of the device


Description of headphones

Apple AirPods, as you know, they differ from similar devices in the following, that they do not have silicone ear pads (nozzles). The device exactly repeats the shape of the inner part of the ear, therefore, it is ideally placed in the auricle, without causing discomfort.

The choice in favor of the gadget is made especially by those, who can’t wear vacuum headphones with silicone ear pads.

The original headset has high-quality white plastic. There are three holes in the upper part: a speaker, which reproduces the sound, two auxiliary ones for the removal of part of the sound. They protect the hearing organs from negative effects. At the bottom of each earphone there is a silver–colored metal border. The detail performs not only an aesthetic role, but also the antenna functions, improving the connection with the phone. There is also a microphone in each earphone.

In general, the appearance of the headset resembles the design of wired EarPods, just don’t need wires. The new Apple AirPods are ready to listen to music, video viewing, as a mobile headset.

AirPods Pro sensors

The list of sensors available in the device itself makes it clear, how high-tech is this compact device:

  • dual directional microphones,
  • internal microphone,
  • dual optical sensors,
  • motion recognition accelerometer,
  • accelerometer for detecting voice activity,
  • the pressure sensor.


System requirements of connected devices

Apple has posted a list of devices on its official website, which are compatible with the AirPods headset.

  • Apple brand phones and tablets with iOS operating system version 12.2 or older.
  • An Apple Watch smartwatch with the watchOS operating system version 5.2 or older.
  • Desktop computers manufactured by Apple with the macOS operating system version 10.14.4 or older.

In practice, you can connect headphones to almost any device, which has a Bluetooth module.

Interesting: Why AirPods headphones don’t work

The official Apple information and the AirPods review about the mobile OS versions available for connection is also not quite correct. AirPods are able to connect with older devices as well. In practice, they are connected even to the iPhone 5, iPad Air and mini 2 provided, that iOS on them has been updated to version 10. But it will not be possible to synchronize the headset with older gadgets.

AirPods Pro Management

From now on, playback can be controlled from any earphone using a push sensor, located at the bottom of the device.

  • press once
  • press twice
  • press three times.
  • press and hold
  • Say ‘Hello, Siri’

The appearance of the case and the click sound

On the left is a fake, on the right is the original

Charging case, as well as the headphones themselves, they should be milky white. Fakes usually cannot convey the truth of white and go into yellow shades.

Oh yeah, fake cases always have an additional button for connecting or resetting. It just sticks out of the case. Often from the front. In the original, the button for breaking the pair coincides with the line of the back surface.

Besides, you can also determine the real case by a corporate click. It’s pleasant and slightly muted. And the fake has a loud and sonorous, in general, unpleasant.

Performance and connectivity of AirPods Pro

AirPods Pro appears to be a high-tech device, which works based on the System in Package architecture with a unique H1 chip. It is he who is responsible for the operation of all the functions of the device – from audio playback to communication with Siri. The chip developed by Apple has already successfully proved itself in AirPods 2 (2019), showing stable connection and low signal latency. 10 cores of the chip allow noise reduction to work actively in real time. Connection to other devices is based on Bluetooth 5.0.


Joints, gaps and gaps

On the left is the original, on the right is a fake

Real AirPods are carefully sanded, because of this, it is almost impossible to notice any gap. It seems, as if it’s all a monolithic case.

In the case of a fake, the opposite is true: the Chinese do not bother much with ‘honing’ the headphone case and leave micro-gaps and cracks. Out of the box, there may even be scratches on the device. Be sure to check the headphones with a flashlight, it will always highlight the flaws of the accessory.

And pay attention to the additional holes for speakers and microphones.

AirPods Pro compatibility

The device is compatible with iPhone models, starting with the iPhone SE, 6s. AirPods Pro will work with iPad, starting with Air 2 and iPad mini 4, and also with the seventh generation iPod touch. The headphones are compatible with Apple Watch of all series, and also with Apple TV 4K and HD. AirPods Pro will be able to work with most models of Mac computers and laptops, issued after 2012.


The shape of the box and the set

On the left is the original, on the right is a fake
Apple always packs its devices in a tight cardboard box. Original gadgets will never easily fall out of it.

There are no gaps inside the packaging of these headphones. Instructions on top, and under it, headphones in a case on a special tray. Under the tray is a Lightning charging cable.

Good fakes are packed in a better box, she’s she’s bloated with a crooked liner

Fakes have less abundance. As a rule, the case is wrapped in blue film, and underneath it is an instruction manual and a second-rate Lightning charging cable. There is no headphone tray.

The quality of the microphone

AirPods 2 have a microphone of excellent quality, surpassing most of its competitors in this regard. But the voice transmission of the Pro shows slightly more neutral frequency characteristics, which is especially good for owners of a low voice timbre.

The speech-recording accelerometer works together with microphones, to drown out background noise and provide a higher quality of communication with the interlocutor on the other end of the line.

AirPods convey the timbre of the human voice quite well, surpassing Samsung Galaxy Buds headphones in this regard.

Apple AirPods Pro have fairly neutral frequency characteristics, as a result, your voice will be the same volume during a phone conversation.

The microphones of both wireless headphones are excellent, still, AirPods Pro have a slight advantage in voice quality.

Wireless charging case

AirPods of the previous generation can be purchased in two sets: headphones with a regular case and with a wireless charging case with support for the Qi standard.

The wireless charging case for AirPods 1 and 2 can be purchased separately.

The new Apple AirPods Pro headphones are immediately sold with a wireless case, which can be charged through a wire. For some, it doesn’t matter, because they don’t need wireless charging, but most will not give up this opportunity.

As for the weight p measurement of cases, they are shown in the image below: