AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: which true wireless earbuds are right for you?

The AirPods Pro 2 are the more advanced pair of earphones but the Airpods 3 are much cheaper

AirPods Pro 2
(Image credit: Apple)

During Apple's 'Far Out' event, which took place on the 7 September 2022 in Cupertino, California, the American tech giant announced a new pair of in-ear true wireless earbuds - the Apple AirPods Pro 2.

They look set to be some of the best true wireless earbuds in the world, just like Apple's other pair of TWS buds, the Apple AirPods 3. So how do they compare, and which ones will be best for you? You've come to the right place to find out.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: price and availability

You'll be able to buy the Apple AirPods Pro 2 from the 9th of September, they'll set you back $249 / AU$399 whereas the AirPods 3 are available to buy now and will only cost you $179 / £159. If you're concerned about budget then the AirPods 3 are likely to be the better choice.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: design and fit

These two pairs of true wireless earbuds have one huge difference, their style. The AirPods Pro 2 come with four sizes of silicone ear tips so they sit inside your ear canal whereas the AirPods 3 perch outside it with a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Which one you go for will largely depend on which you find more comfortable, the in-ear design will also give you better noise isolation because of the more secure fit. 

Both pairs of earbuds have the white dangling stem design that Apple headphones are oh-so-famous for. To control the music, the AirPods 3 have a force sensor on the stem whereas the AirPods Pro 2 have a touch sensor. Touch controls are a lot easier to use and they actually allow you to adjust the volume with a swipe up or down the stem as well.

Apple AirPods (3rd Gen)

(Image credit: Apple)

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: performance and features

There's one key difference between these pair of earbuds when it comes to performance: the AirPods Pro 2 make use of a brand new H2 chip as opposed to the H1 chip used in the AirPods 3. That should mean more advanced computational audio processing that ultimately improves the sound quality and improves the power of the noise cancellation.

The AirPods 3 don't actually have their own active noise cancellation, nor do they have a transparency mode as the AirPods Pro 2 do. That in itself could sway you one way over the other esepcially if you make a lot of long, loud journeys on public transport.

Other features offered by both pairs include Find My technology although the Pros have it loaded into the case as well as the earbuds, an Adaptive EQ, wireless charging and IPX4 water resistance.

What about battery life? Well actually these two pairs of earbuds will last you for exactly the same amount of time, that being 6 hours from the headphones themselves and 30 hours with the charging case. 

Yasmine Crossland
Freelance Tech Expert

Yasmine is the former Reviews Writer for T3, so she's been knee-deep in the latest tech products for reviewing and curating into the best buying guides since she started in 2019. She keeps a finger on the pulse when it comes to the most exciting and innovative tech and is happy to tell you exactly what she thinks about it too. In her free time, you'll catch her travelling the globe – the perks of being a freelance tech expert – tending to her plants when at home and, but of course, planning her next big trip.