Image for the article titled How to Choose Between the AirPods 2, AirPods 3, and AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods lineup has gotten confusing. Differentiating it used to be easier than you could choose the AirPods Pro if you wanted an in-ear fit with active noise cancellation, or the regular AirPods if you could live without them. However, the third generation AirPods were launched, which makes it a little more difficult to decide on the perfect pair of AirPods. But we’ll make that easier.

What’s new in third generation AirPods?

The third generation of AirPods has a new design that is similar to the AirPods Pro (without an in-ear fit). It’ll still rest on your ear like the original AirPods, but it has a shorter stem that allows third-generation AirPods to give you better control (borrowed from a good function of AirPods Pro). No more tapping or double-tapping the earbuds.

Third generation AirPods are also supported for spatial audio, Sweat and water resistance and the new MagSafe charging case. If you want most of the great features of the AirPods Pro but don’t like in-ear headphones, the third generation AirPods are perfect for you.

The best new feature of the third generation AirPods is battery life. According to Apple, we can get up to six hours of listening time on a single charge, which is more than the second generation AirPods (five hours) and AirPods Pro (4.5 hours). Last but not least, third-generation AirPods also get an inward-facing microphone, which makes them sound better on calls than the second-generation ones. They cost $ 179.

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Should you buy this? second generation Instead AirPods?

The previous generation AirPods are now available at a lower price and are still a compelling buy for $ 129. The extra $ 50 for AirPods 3 gives you a lot of new features that could be worth the asking price, but if you don’t want to hit your budget that much, the older AirPods remain a great alternative.

For some people with older Apple devices, the second generation AirPods are the only good option as the more expensive AirPods are incompatible with some devices. You can buy the second generation AirPods if you have any of the following:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad Air (first generation)
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch (sixth generation)

Granted, these are really old devices at this point, but if you’ve stuck with one, the third-generation AirPods and AirPods Pro won’t work for you anyway.

Should You Consider the AirPods Pro?

At $ 249, the AirPods Pro is the most expensive of the three headphones we covered here. If you want an in-ear fit with active noise cancellation, consider buying AirPods Pro. It has exclusive features like Conversation Boost, which focuses the microphone on the person speaking in front of you to enhance their audio in face-to-face conversations, and it is useful for those who have hearing problems. AirPods Pro also work with disconnection alerts so your iPhone can warn you if you leave them behind.

However, if these features aren’t that important, consider the third generation AirPods as the best option.