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AirPods and AirPods Pro – are they really that different?

Posted by Kristina Radovic on

Some say that Apple owners are like addicts – once they buy an Apple product they buy everything else as well. And they keep coming back. If you buy an iPhone you will probably continue buying new ones as long as they keep coming out. The same goes for its accessories.

Next to undeniable high quality and widely praised user-friendliness, each of Apple´s products is designed to work perfectly on its own but even better when combined with others in Apple´s family. This is even truer for Apple´s headphones – the AirPods.


Most successful accessory of all times

Apple´s first wireless headphones were released together with iPhone 7 in 2016. Even though first impressions were not that positive mostly because of how funny they looked, up to 16 million were sold in 2017, 35 million in 2018, and a staggering 60 million in 2019!

It seems that their premium pricing (from $160 to $250) didn´t stop Apple´s domination of the wireless earphones market, holding more than half of market shares for wireless earphone sales.


What is so special about AirPods?

Apple has kickstarted the category of wireless headphones and rapidly created a hype everyone wanted to join. But besides status and sense of belonging to the cool crowd, AirPods provide a truly amazing listening experience and freedom of movement. Not to mention all the possibilities for fashion expression with all those protective cases.

Just like with iPhones, Apple continues its practice of releasing new generations, reeling in both old and new users. Each new release offers new features, while some stayed unchanged.


AirPods VS AirPods Pro

The third generation of AirPods, the AirPods Pro, was released very shortly after the 2nd gen AirPods. We can debate why is that – they want to keep the hype going, looking to earn more money, or they´ve genuinely listened to the complaint of their customers.

Because the changes introduced in the third generation are significant.


AirPods – still standing

With the 1st gen AirPods no longer on sale, the 2nd gen kept the name while keeping the same design as well. You can´t really tell the difference between the two.

Airpods Pro

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash


The most important change is the transition to a new H1 chip. It allows for twice more talk time than the first AirPods as well as a twice faster connection between devices with the new voice-enabled assistance from Siri. With a total of 24 hours of listening and 18 hours of talk time, a single charge offers 5 hours of the former and 3 hours of the latter.

All AirPods are charged inside their case. But the 2nd gen´s charging case can be charged both with a Lightning cable and wirelessly with any Qi-compatible mat or stand.


AirPods pro – a makeover

With the third generation came a real change.

                                      Photo by Shawnn Tan on Unsplash

A new look with shortened stems and 3 sizes of silicone tips for a customizable fit, sweat and water-resistance, active noise-cancellation with a transparency mode controlled by a force sensor, superior sound quality with Adaptive QE… Even the charging case is of a different shape. They really made an effort.

Staying with the H1 chip the listening time decreased for half an hour, with the same total of 24 hours. Also, they could be charged only wirelessly while they are not compatible with some of the older Apple devices.


Which is the right one for you?

That depends mainly on how much are you willing or able to cash out since the price difference is significant. Regular AirPods start at $159 while the AirPods Pro don´t go less than $259.

Between the now discontinued 1st generation AirPods and the 2nd difference is not that noticeable. But between AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, the difference is significant.

With numerous new features, better sound quality, and a new fresh design, if you can afford it then AirPods Pro are definitely the better choice. This doesn´t mean that regular AirPods won´t serve you well so, either way, you would be satisfied.


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