AirPods 3 Vs AirPods 2: Biggest Differences Explained

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


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.
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