AirPods 3 VS AirPods 2 Review: Why 2nd Gen is More Worth Starting


First of all, let’s take a quick look at the main differences between the functions and parameters of the three headphones of the AirPods series (as shown below):

So the first thing I want to say next is that for those friends who are struggling to choose AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro, you only need to figure out one thing-can you accept the wearing experience of in-ear earplugs.

If it doesn’t make your ears sore or fall out easily when you wear it, just buy AirPods Pro with your eyes closed. What you get will be excellent active noise reduction, clear transparent mode, and a more immersive spatial audio experience.

You know, the current discounted price of AirPods Pro is the same as that of AirPods 3 or even slightly lower, and the above are only features unique to AirPods Pro, and you may not need to spend a penny to get it. In other words, among the current three AirPods products, AirPods Pro is the most cost-effective.

However, there are indeed some friends around us who can’t (or don’t like) wear earphones. Semi-in-ear AirPods have become the first choice for this kind of people, and this is also the focus of this article-AirPods 3 Who should I choose with AirPods 2?

I found that for these two headsets, everyone is generally entangled in the following points: What is the difference between AirPods 3 and AirPods 2 in terms of wearing comfort, functionality, and sound quality? Who is more cost-effective in terms of cost performance?

This is what I want to share with you in the future based on my own practical experience. If you are also struggling with the above problems, the following content should be able to help you.

Wearing and operating experience

First of all, for the wearing experience, AirPods 3 uses a larger cavity design this time, which is significantly larger than AirPods 2, and at the same time increases the weight by 0.28g (2nd generation single earphone weighs 4g). But from the actual wearing experience, the extra weight and larger size did not adversely affect the wearing.

From the wearing experience of myself and several colleagues around, AirPods 3 is very comfortable to wear. The semi-open design continues the good breathability and pressure balance of the second generation, which is more suitable for long-term wearing. In addition, AirPods 3 adds IPX4 level anti-sweat and waterproof protection this time, which will be more friendly to users who like sports.

However, in terms of stability, my experience with AirPods 2 is better. The main reason is that the ear handles of the 2nd generation are longer and the weight distribution of the earphones is more balanced, while AirPods 3 is a bit “top-heavy.” For example, it is the same to do a quick head shaking. The second generation is very stable, while AirPods 3 will be a little loose.

The operating experience is quite different, and in my opinion, each has its own merits. The second generation is touch-sensitive operation, responsive, I personally like it very much; but the disadvantage is that every time you tap the headset, there will be a “boom” sound, which is inevitable. AirPods 3 uses the pressure-sensitive buttons on AirPods Pro, which requires two fingers to hold the earstalk to operate; the advantage is that there is no “boom” sound, but the disadvantage is that it is not as simple and convenient as the second generation.

In addition, I need to emphasize that I found that the left and right earphone button functions of AirPods 3 do not support customization, which is not as user-friendly as AirPods Pro; and since 2021, AirPods still does not support volume adjustment, which I feel a bit regrettable.

You should know that many other TWS headsets of friends have already supported volume adjustment, which is very convenient for the user experience, and there is no need to take out the phone to adjust the volume every time.

Sound Quality Performance

AirPods 3 still has improved sound quality this time. Apple said at the press conference that they have designed a new low-distortion driver unit to enhance low-frequency and dynamic performance.

Compared with the sound quality of the second generation, AirPods 3’s low-frequency volume has been improved, and the flexibility is better. At the same time, the horizontal sound field has also become wider. Especially with the blessing of spatial audio, the stereo effect will bring a more immersive experience.

In addition, I also noticed that after I updated iOS 15.1, Spatial Audio added two modes, “Fixed” and “Head Tracking”. As the name implies, the “fixed” mode is the standard left and right channel stereo effect, while the “head tracking” mode adjusts the sound position according to the rotation of the user’s head, creating a more surround effect.

In general, AirPods 3 does have an improvement in sound quality compared to the second generation this time, but it is not much different from AirPods Pro as a whole, and AirPods Pro that supports active noise reduction can bring you a better space in any scene. The audio experience is something that AirPods 3 cannot match.


The battery life is also an improvement of AirPods 3 this time. The single-use time of the headset (6 hours) and the integrated battery life (30 hours) with the charging box is longer than AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. This means that AirPods 3 can provide longer-lasting use time, whether it is daily commuting, office or home games and entertainment.

In addition, AirPods 3 is equipped with a MagSafe charging case. Although this is useless to me, for those users who have MagSafe chargers, it can provide AirPods 3 with a more robust wireless charging experience. In my opinion, it can be regarded as the icing on the cake.

Read Also: Redmi Note 11 Pro+ Review: With 120W Ultra-Fast Charging


AirPods 3’s improvement in sound quality and battery life this time is its biggest selling point, but unfortunately, the price of 1399 yuan can actually be directly on AirPods Pro. On the other hand, AirPods 2, which is equipped with the same H1 chip as AirPods 3, now has a discounted price of about 750 yuan, while AirPods 3 has almost no discount since it was just launched. So in my opinion, the same semi-in-ear AirPods 2 is undoubtedly more cost-effective, and AirPods 3 is not a good time to start at this time. Perhaps in a few months, when AirPods 3 begins to usher in a round of price cuts, it will not be too late to start.


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