AirPods 3 Vs AirPods 2: Biggest Differences Explained

Are the new AirPods worth an upgrade from the old one?

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airpods 3 vs airpods 2

The successor to Apple’s insanely popular, truly wireless earphones is here. The tech giant unveiled the AirPods 3 at its Apple Unleashed October event along with the new MacBooks. However, are the new AirPods any different from the previous generation? AirPods 3 Vs. AirPods 2: what’s the difference?

Most importantly, the third generation of AirPods features design changes, new features, and a price change on paper. Is it worth upgrading to? Likewise, let’s find out the significant differences between the AirPods 2 and AirPods 3.

Comparing the on-paper differences


While nobody can comment on the sound quality difference yet, there are significant differences in the design, features, and price departments. Let’s have a look at the same.

All the design improvements

design changes

The first look at AirPods 3 reminds you of the AirPods Pro. It looks like a fusion of AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. The third generation has a shorter earbud stem and a titled earpiece. While the AirPods 2 have a longer stem, they remain light.

Apple decided to stay on the one-size approach as the new AirPods don’t come with interchangeable ear tips, just like the AirPods 2.

The AirPods 3 charging case is wider than the one for AirPods 2. The new case mostly gets a broader appearance and MagSafe charging.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: Battery life

airpods 3 vs airpods 2 battery

AirPods 3 can last for six hours on a full charge, while AirPods 2 last for 5 hours. On paper, the new earbuds get an extra hour of battery life. With the charging case, the third generation earphones can last for a total of 30 hours vs. the 24 hours on AirPods 2 with the charging case.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: Features

airpods 3 vs airpods 2 features

Indeed, there’s more to AirPods than just the name. The new AirPods inherited all the features of its predecessor, plus some additions. However, a significant part has to be spatial audio.

Apple has been talking about spatial audio for quite a while now and has finally brought the feature to the non-pro versions of its audio devices. Only the AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max had spatial audio as a feature until now, and now the AirPods 3 has it too. Unlike the AirPods 2, the third generation can give you a spatial audio experience.

Above all, Apple still didn’t provide active noise cancelation (ANC) to its latest pair of earbuds. ANC is still reserved for higher-end audio devices. Hence, AirPods 3 does not have active noise cancelation, just like AirPods 2.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: Price

airpods 3 price

Apple announced the AirPods 3 price at $179 vs. the lower cost of $129 of the AirPods 2.

At launch, the AirPods 2 made a debut at a price point of $159, which is still $20 less than the third generation’s initial price. Moreover, you order the AirPods 3 right now and have the pair delivered.

Is it a worthy upgrade?

While the AirPods 2 has been out in the wild for a while now, an upgrade is long overdue. With the added features and better sound (hopefully) due to the new custom drivers, you can consider upgrading. AirPods are the company’s highest-selling pair of earphones and have a large market.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth Dudeja

An engineering student with a keen interest in most aspects of technology. Likes to write about Microsoft, Apple, Laptops, Gaming, etc.