Apple AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Every major difference we expect to see

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The AirPods 3 could person a caller plan that resembles the AirPods Pro.


Angela Lang/CNET

Apple’s September iPhone 13 event could beryllium close astir the corner, which means we mightiness besides beryllium seeing the AirPods 3 soon enough. Rumors and reports suggest that a refreshed mentation of the modular AirPods (yes, the ones with the agelong stems) could motorboat successful 2021, and Apple’s yearly merchandise motorboat lawsuit seems similar the perfect clip to bash it.

If the rumors beryllium true, the caller AirPods volition beryllium a batch much similar the high-end AirPods Pro. Likely to beryllium called the AirPods 3, Apple’s adjacent existent wireless earbuds could diagnostic a caller plan with shorter stems, interchangeable receptor tips, a caller Apple chip, and a smaller charging case.

That could marque deciding betwixt the modular AirPods and AirPods Pro each the much difficult.  There’s nary mode to genuinely cognize what to expect from the AirPods 3 until Apple unveils them. And we besides don’t cognize whether they’ll beryllium priced the aforesaid arsenic the existent entry-level AirPods. But here’s a look astatine however they could comparison to the AirPods Pro based connected the reports, leaks, and rumors truthful far.

AirPods 3 (rumored) vs. AirPods Pro

Launch price Processor Fit Active sound cancellation Water resistance
AirPods 3 (rumored) AirPods Pro
$159 $249
Next-gen Apple chip Apple H1
Customizable Customizable
No Yes
No Yes

Design: The AirPods 3 could look similar the AirPods Pro, but with immoderate flimsy differences.

Among the biggest changes reportedly coming to the AirPods 3 is simply a revamped plan that much intimately resembles that of the AirPods Pro. Last year, Bloomberg and expert Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) person some reported that Apple’s entry-level AirPods volition summation a caller look with shorter stems and replaceable receptor tips. Since then, we’ve besides seen a mates of leaks indicating the same. 

Chinese audio blog 52 Audio posted a photograph successful February claiming to amusement what the AirPods 3 look like. Twitter relationship Leaks Apple Pro besides posted a photograph successful March that galore person speculated could beryllium the AirPods 3.

In some photos, you’ll announcement that the earbuds person importantly shorter stems overmuch similar the AirPods Pro. Although they look a batch much similar the Pros, the photos suggest determination volition inactive beryllium immoderate ocular differences betwixt some models. 

airpods-3-leak-52audio.png

This representation from 52audio claims to amusement what the AirPods 3 look like.


52audio

The stems whitethorn inactive beryllium somewhat longer connected the AirPods 3 compared to the Pros, and the earbuds themselves besides don’t look arsenic constrictive arsenic the Pros. None of the photos amusement the receptor tips that the AirPods 3 are expected to vessel with either. The expected lawsuit for the AirPods 3 shown successful the photos besides looks similar a somewhat taller mentation of the AirPods Pro charging case.

The AirPods 3 are besides expected to travel with changeable receptor tips for a much customizable fit, according to Bloomberg. If that’s true, past we tin apt expect Apple to see 3 receptor extremity sizes successful the container and an receptor extremity acceptable trial during the setup process, conscionable similar the AirPods Pro. 

Kuo provided different hint indicating that the AirPods 3 volition person an AirPods Pro-like design. In a probe enactment reported by Apple Insider, helium mentioned the AirPods 3 volition usage the aforesaid system-in-package plan arsenic the AirPods Pro, which Apple says contributes to the earbuds’ size and performance. That could mean Apple is trying to compression the AirPods 3’s components into a sleeker physique similar the Pro. But we haven’t heard whether the AirPods 3 volition summation h2o absorption similar the Pros.

All told, the AirPods 3 look to beryllium a transverse betwixt the second-generation modular AirPods and the AirPods Pro successful presumption of design.

Audio: Active sound cancellation volition inactive apt beryllium exclusive to the AirPods Pro.

Yes, the AirPods 3 volition look a batch much similar the AirPods Pro. But volition they dependable much similar them? That reply is little clear, but what seems definite is that the AirPods 3 won’t see progressive sound cancellation, according to Bloomberg. 

However, the 52 Audio study does hint that different premium audio diagnostic mightiness trickle down to the AirPods 3: spatial audio. This diagnostic creates a situation dependable effect that tracks the question of your caput erstwhile watching supported movies and TV shows, but it’s lone presently disposable connected the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. 

Otherwise, we haven’t heard overmuch astir whether the AirPods 3 volition get immoderate meaningful audio upgrades that bring them person to the AirPods Pro. But if their caller plan results successful a amended fit, it’s tenable to expect that the AirPods 3 volition dependable amended too.  

Performance: The AirPods 3 whitethorn person a newer spot and longer artillery beingness compared to the AirPods Pro.

Apple is expected to present a caller mentation of its wireless spot successful the AirPods 3, according to Bloomberg. Apple’s next-generation AirPods Pro volition besides reportedly person this chip, but Bloomberg doesn’t specify erstwhile the caller high-end earbuds would launch. That means we’ll astir apt spot the spot successful the AirPods 3 archetypal since Apple is expected to unveil them successful September alongside the iPhone 13.

There aren’t immoderate details astir the types of upgrades this spot could bring. But if the leap betwixt Apple’s W1 and H1 spot is immoderate indication, we whitethorn spot faster transportation speeds. The H1 spot besides introduced hands-free Siri enactment to Apple’s second-generation AirPods, truthful there’s a accidental we’ll spot different caller features successful the AirPods 3 arsenic well.

The AirPods 3 whitethorn besides get immoderate artillery beingness improvements, perchance putting them up of the AirPods Pro. Bloomberg’s study mentions that Apple is “looking to improve” artillery beingness with the AirPods 3, though it didn’t stock immoderate further details. But it’s imaginable that the AirPods 3’s caller spot could pb to amended ratio overall, resulting successful longer artillery life.

The existent AirPods and AirPods Pro connection akin artillery life. Both are estimated to supply up to 5 hours of listening clip according to Apple, but utilizing progressive sound cancellation and transparency mode volition apt bring the Pro’s artillery beingness down to 4.5 hours. 

Price: The AirPods 3 volition astir apt inactive beryllium cheaper than the AirPods Pro

Since the AirPods 3 are meant to win Apple’s modular AirPods, it’s astir definite that they’ll beryllium cheaper than the AirPods Pro. Apple sells its second-generation AirPods for $159, though you tin find them for just beneath $120 connected Amazon. Similarly, the AirPods Pro outgo $249 done Apple and merchantability for $189.98 connected Amazon.

The bigger question is whether the AirPods 3 volition outgo much than the second-generation AirPods. We won’t cognize until Apple makes the announcement, but it’s a anticipation if the AirPods 3 person an updated plan and faster chip. 

Overall, the AirPods 3 look similar they’ll bring Apple’s earbuds up to velocity successful 2 areas that substance most: comfortableness and performance. But you’ll inactive apt inactive person to splurge connected the AirPods Pro to get amended audio prime and progressive sound cancellation. We’re expecting to larn much successful the coming weeks since Apple typically unveils caller products successful September.

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