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AirPods 2nd Gen vs 3rd Gen – Which One to Buy?

The Apple AirPods 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen are wireless earphones but differ in several important ways. The W1 chip in the 2nd Gen maintains the iconic appearance while providing dependable connectivity and passable sound Quality.

The 3rd Gen, on the other hand, has a more streamlined design with an H1 chip that provides better audio quality, active noise cancellation, and support for spatial audio. The 3rd Gen is a significant advance for those looking for better audio and additional functions, but the 2nd Gen is still a good option for those on a budget.

What are AirPods 2nd Gen?

Apple’s second-generation AirPods are wireless earbuds. They replaced the original AirPods and were introduced in March 2019. The second generation of AirPods has a number of enhancements over the first generation, including:

  • Hands-free access to Siri
  • A faster and more reliable wireless connection powered by the Apple H1 chip
  • 3 hours or more of talk time per charge
  • Total battery life of more than 24 hours with charging case
  • Wireless charging case (optional)

The second generation of AirPods are also more water and perspiration-resistant than the first. Since they are IPX4-rated, they can survive water splashes from any angle.

Users of iPhones frequently choose the second-generation AirPods because they provide a smooth and practical wireless listening experience. They offer good value for the money and are also reasonably priced.

Pros and drawbacks of the 2nd generation of AirPods are listed below:


  • Simple to install and use
  • interaction with Apple devices that is seamless
  • The sound quality is good
  • a relaxed fit
  • long-lasting battery
  • (Optional) Wireless charging case


  • Expensive
  • Active noise cancellation is absent.
  • Cases may be simple to lose.
  • Not appropriate for all gadgets

In general, AirPods 2nd generation are a fantastic option for iPhone consumers seeking a convenient and premium wireless listening experience.

Features of AirPods 2nd Gen

The AirPods 2nd Gen’s main attributes and features are listed below:

  • Wireless Connectivity: The 2nd Gen AirPods, like their predecessors, connect to Apple gadgets like iPhones, iPads, and Macs over Bluetooth for a seamless wireless music experience.
  • H1 Chip: The H1 chip in these AirPods boosts efficiency and connectivity, enabling quicker device pairing and decreased latency during music playback.
  • Siri Integration: Users can use the “Hey Siri” command to activate Siri hands-free, enabling voice-activated tasks and information retrieval.
  • Wireless Charging Case (Optional): Apple provided a wireless charging case as an add-on for the AirPods 2nd Gen, enabling customers to charge the earbuds by setting them on a wireless charging pad that is compatible with the case.
  • Battery Life: The AirPods 2nd Gen provided more than 24 hours of overall battery life when used with the charging case and up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge.
  • High-Quality Audio: They produced crystal-clear audio, and their sensors could tell when they were in your ears, pausing the recording when you took them out.
  • Compatibility: The iOS, watchOS, and macOS operating systems on various Apple devices were all compatible with these AirPods.

What are AirPods 3rd Gen?

The third generation of AirPods are wireless earbuds that Apple created and produced. They replaced the AirPods 2nd generation and were introduced in October 2021. The third generation of AirPods has a number of upgrades over the first generation, including:

  • New design with a shorter stem and contoured fit for a more secure and pleasant fit
  • Adaptive EQ that adjusts the sound to match your ear comfortably
  • Dynamic head tracking and spatial audio for a more immersive listening experience
  • IPX4 water and sweat resistance
  • Up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge. * Longer battery life.
  • MagSafe charging case for quick charging and compatibility with wireless charging

The third-generation AirPods are a popular option for iPhone owners since they provide a seamless and practical wireless listening experience with enhanced functionality. They offer good value for the money and are also reasonably priced.

Pros and drawbacks of the third generation of AirPods include the following:


  • Simple to install and use
  • interaction with Apple devices that is seamless
  • The sound quality is good
  • a relaxed fit
  • long-lasting battery
  • charging cover for MagSafe
  • Resistance to water and sweat
  • Head tracking that is dynamic and spatial


  • Expensive
  • Active noise cancellation is absent.
  • Cases may be simple to lose.
  • Not appropriate for all gadgets.

Features of AirPods 3rd Gen

Improved Audio Quality: Apple frequently works to improve audio quality with every new generation of AirPods so that you can anticipate better sound quality.

  • Apple first implemented Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) in the AirPods Pro and then in the AirPods Max. The third generation of AirPods might include ANC for a richer audio experience.
  • Spatial Audio: Spatial Audio was first launched by Apple with the AirPods Pro and later expanded to other devices. This innovation offers a 3D audio experience; thus, the third-generation AirPods may incorporate it.
  • Longer Battery Life: Apple frequently tries to increase the battery life of its products, so you should notice improvements in the third-generation AirPods’ endurance.
  • Faster Chip: To boost connectivity, speed, and effectiveness, Apple may employ a more sophisticated chip, such as the H1 or a more recent variant.
  • Compatibility: The third-generation AirPods should work with the newest Apple hardware and software.
  • Design Changes: Apple may make minor adjustments to the design, such as a more ergonomic fit, fresh colour schemes, or a new form factor.
  • Water and Sweat Resistance: Improved resistance to water and sweat is increasingly common in wireless earphones; the third-generation AirPods may incorporate this capability.

AirPods 2nd Gen vs 3rd Gen: Features Comparison

1. Design, Build, Fitting, and Comfort

With a distinct stem and a universal fit, the 2nd Gen AirPods closely matched the original AirPods in design. They were lightweight and petite. With each successive generation, Apple prefers to enhance and improve the design. The third generation of AirPods could have a different shape, perhaps with shorter stems, newer colours, or other design enhancements. The 2nd Gen AirPods are sturdy and made of high-quality materials. They could survive everyday wear and tear but were not water-resistant. Apple frequently improves the design and construction of its products. The third-generation AirPods might be more resilient and water-resistant.

2. Audio Quality

The audio quality of the AirPods 3rd Gen surpasses that of the 2nd Gen. They produce more prosperous, more immersive sound with improved drivers and adaptive EQ. Spatial audio is also supported by the 3rd Gen, resulting in a 3D audio experience. The 3rd Gen’s Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) also significantly decreases outside noise for enhanced clarity. The 3rd Gen is the preferable option for audiophiles and those looking for an improved audio experience since, while the 2nd Gen provides passable audio, it falls short of the 3rd Gen’s more excellent sound quality, spatial audio, and ANC capabilities.

3. ANC and Spatial Audio

With their cutting-edge features, the third-generation AirPods surpass the first. The 3rd Gen is equipped with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), significantly lowering background noise for a more immersive audio experience. They also provide Spatial Audio, which creates a 3D soundstage for a movie-like experience. The 2nd Gen is less prepared for noisy surroundings and offers a less immersive audio experience because it lacks ANC and Spatial Audio. The 3rd Gen AirPods are the better option if ANC and Spatial Audio are priorities.

4. Noise Isolation

Passive noise isolation is used by the AirPods 2 and 3 to cancel out outside noise. As a result, less noise may enter the ear canal thanks to the earbuds and ear tips’ unique designs, which seal off the ear canal. Both models lack active noise cancellation (ANC), which employs microphones to detect and electronically filter out background noise.

When using the earphones in transparency mode, users may hear what is happening around them. This is helpful when you need to be aware of your surroundings, as when riding a bike or walking. Overall, the degrees of noise isolation offered by AirPods 2 and 3 are comparable.

5. Microphone and Call Quality

Compared to the 2nd Gen, the AirPods 3rd Gen has a better microphone and call quality. The 3rd Gen delivers crystal-clear audio during calls, dramatically eliminating background noise for greater speech clarity with beamforming technology and three microphones per earbud. This development improves call quality, making it an excellent option for personal and professional calls. The 3rd Gen’s improved microphone technology considerably improves over the 2nd Gen’s call quality, ensuring more natural and clear conversations in various settings.

6. Mic Clarity

Regarding mic clarity, the AirPods third generation surpasses the second. They provide more apparent and more accurate audio during calls thanks to advancements in microphone technology. The 3rd Gen significantly improves background noise suppression, making them perfect for clear communication even in busy surroundings. Compared to the 2nd Gen AirPods, this improvement ensures your voice is heard clearly and offers a better hands-free calling experience.

7. Bluetooth, Codes and H1 Chip

The AirPods 2nd Gen uses Bluetooth 5.0 for dependable wireless connectivity, while the 3rd Gen will likely preserve or improve upon this standard. Apple’s specially created H1 processor is present in both generations, ensuring effortless device pairing, reduced latency, and adequate battery management. While the 2nd Gen AirPods offered a smoother and more responsive wireless audio experience, the 3rd Gen AirPods may use an upgraded H1 chip type, giving even faster performance and more excellent connectivity.

8. Battery Life and Charging Case

Regarding battery life and charging case features, the third-generation AirPods are superior to the second-generation. While the 2nd Gen only delivers up to 5 hours of listening time, the 3rd Gen offers up to 6 hours of playing on a single charge. Additionally, the 3rd Gen has a wireless charging case compatible with MagSafe and delivers faster and more convenient wireless charging than the 2nd Gen. Thanks to these upgrades, the 3rd Gen AirPods is a better option for customers looking for increased usage and more convenient charging.

9. Connectivity

Comparing the AirPods 3rd Gen to the 2nd Gen offers better connectivity. The 3rd Gen AirPods offer quicker and more reliable connections to Apple devices thanks to an improved H1 chip. They enable hands-free “Hey Siri” commands and smooth device switching. The third-generation AirPods also include spatial audio for a more engaging listening experience. The 3rd Gen AirPods’ cutting-edge chip increases the wireless experience. At the same time, the 2nd Gen AirPods maintain dependable Bluetooth connectivity, making them an excellent option for users wanting the best connectivity and music quality.

10. Skin Detection

Due to a lack of skin-detecting technology, the AirPods 2nd Gen does not immediately cease audio playback when taken out of the ears. The 3rd Gen AirPods, in contrast, include sophisticated skin sensing, pausing, playing upon removal and restarting when put back into the ears. Thanks to this feature, the 3rd Gen is a more convenient and effective option for seamless audio experiences, which extends battery life.

11. Dust and Water Resistance Protection

The AirPods 2nd Gen were susceptible to environmental influences because they lacked particular dust and water protection standards. The AirPods 3rd Gen, on the other hand, has an IPX4 rating, which offers better defence against dust and water splashes. Users who might experience mild rain or perspiration during workouts can rest easy knowing that this improvement guarantees enhanced durability. Although neither model is made to be fully submerged, the 3rd Gen offers greater resilience, making it a better option for those who lead busy lives and participate in outdoor sports.

12. Price

The more affordable AirPods 2nd Gen presents a cost-effective choice for Apple fans. They offer dependable wireless audio, Siri integration, and passable audio quality. The 3rd Gen AirPods, on the other hand, are anticipated to be more expensive and would probably have significant changes, including better audio, active noise cancellation, spatial audio, and a sleeker design. The 3rd Gen offers a premium experience at a more fantastic price, catering to those seeking top-notch audio and cutting-edge features. In contrast, the 2nd Gen caters to users on a tighter budget.

AirPods 2nd Gen vs 3rd Gen: Comparison Table

Feature AirPods 2nd Generation AirPods 3rd Generation
Release Date March 2019 October 2021
Price Typically lower Typically higher
Design Identical to 1st Gen Slight redesign with shorter stems
Audio Quality Good sound quality Improved sound quality with Adaptive EQ
Spatial Audio Not supported Supported
Active Noise Cancellation Not supported Supported (Pro version)
Transparency Mode Supported Supported
Battery Life (Listening) Up to 5 hours Up to 6 hours
Battery Life (Talk Time) Up to 3 hours Up to 4 hours
Wireless Charging Case Optional Included
Wireless Charging Supported (case) Supported (case)
H1 Chip Yes Yes
Hey Siri Activation Supported Supported
Water and Sweat Resistance Yes Yes
Customization Limited with double-tap More customizable touch controls
Device Compatibility Compatible with various Apple devices
Audio Codec SBC, AAC SBC, AAC, and Adaptive Codec

AirPods 2nd Gen vs 3rd Gen: Similarities

  • The AirPods 2nd Gen and possible 3rd Gen models would have wireless Bluetooth connectivity for effortless connecting with Apple devices.
  • They should work with many Apple products like iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.
  • Siri Integration: On both generations, you can activate Siri hands-free with the “Hey Siri” command for voice commands and data retrieval.
  • Both versions often include touch controls for operations like play/pause, track skipping, and answer/end calls.
  • If Apple follows the current trend, both versions may have a wireless charging option for the charging cover, enabling easy wireless charging.
  • They might have sensors that notice when one earbud is taken out, pause playback, and start it again when reinserted.

Which one should I buy, AirPods, 2nd Gen or 3rd Gen?

Your priorities and financial constraints will determine whether you choose AirPods 2nd Gen or the conceivably forthcoming 3rd Gen AirPods. The AirPods 2nd Gen are an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a more affordable model and are happy with dependable wireless audio and simple functionality. At a more inexpensive price point, they provide passable sound quality, smooth networking, and Siri integration.

The 3rd Gen AirPods, on the other hand, might be a good option if you’re prepared to spend more money for an improved audio experience and cutting-edge capabilities. These are anticipated to have better sound, active noise reduction, support for spatial audio, and perhaps a slimmer appearance. The 3rd Gen AirPods, despite their more fantastic price, would probably be a better choice for you if you value enhanced audio performance, immersive spatial audio, and the ability to block out background noise.

Your choice should ultimately be based on your financial situation, unique audio requirements, and preferences. The 3rd Gen AirPods might offer a more gratifying experience if you seek premium audio quality and functionality, but the 2nd Gen AirPods are still a valuable and affordable option.

AirPods 2nd Gen vs 3rd Gen – FAQs

1. Are 3rd gen AirPods better than 2nd gen?

Ans: Yes, AirPods 3rd generation are superior to AirPods 2nd generation. They have a new design with a shorter stem and a contoured fit for a more cosy and stable fit. They also offer sweat and water resistance (IPX4), spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a more immersive listening experience, adaptive EQ that automatically adjusts the sound to the fit of your ear, and extended battery life (up to 6 hours of listening time on a single charge).

2. Is it worth upgrading from AirPods 2 to 3?

Ans: The AirPods 3 may be worth the investment from the AirPods 2 if you want a more secure fit, better sound quality, and new functions. However, there is no need to upgrade if you are content with the AirPods 2.

3. Why is AirPods Pro 2nd generation more expensive than 3rd?

Ans: Due to their upgraded features, the AirPods Pro 2 cost more than the AirPods 3rd generation. These features include: *The use of active noise cancellation (ANC) to muffle background noise
*Adaptive transparency to allow in the ideal quantity of background noise
*A new H2 chip with enhanced performance and sound quality
*New silicone ear tips for a more adjustable fit
*A charger with a U1 chip for accurate Find My monitoring

4. Is the AirPods 3 bigger than the AirPod2 Case?

Ans: In contrast to the AirPods 2, the AirPods 3 case is not more significant. In actuality, it is a little lighter and smaller. 1.83 inches high, 2.14 inches wide, and 0.84 inches deep describe the size of the AirPods 3 case. 1.7 inches high, 2.1 inches wide, and 0.8 inches thick describe the size of the AirPods 2 case. Also 0.06 ounces lighter than the AirPods 2 case is the AirPods 3 case.

5. Does AirPods 2nd gen have touch controls?

Ans: Yes, the second-generation AirPods have touch controls. To play or pause audio, answer or end a call, or invoke Siri, double tap on the stem of either AirPod. The double-tap gesture can also be modified to perform one of the following actions: *Pause and resume the audio
*Play the following song
*Return to the earlier track
*Turn on Siri


The choice between the 2nd Gen and prospective 3rd Gen AirPods largely depends on your preferences and finances, even though both models offer advantages. The third-generation AirPods are expected to have better audio quality and cutting-edge capabilities like active noise reduction and spatial audio, but they might cost more. The 2nd Gen AirPods, on the other hand, offer a more affordable choice with dependable wireless audio. Make the decision that best satisfies your wants and expectations after carefully evaluating your preferences and budgetary factors.

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