Apple’s AirPods vs AirPods Pro – Which One Is Better?



Apple now sells not one, but THREE versions of its uber-popular AirPods. There’s now the AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The basic AirPods line accounts for two of those three models–one you can buy with a wireless charging case and one without.

But just how do the AirPods compare against Apple’s newest AirPods Pro? Let’s take a look to find out.

Apple’s AirPods vs AirPods Pro – Quick Comparison

Design

  • AirPods Apple’s AirPods are made to be as tiny and fashion-conscious as possible. It’s a minimalist device that doesn’t even have any physical buttons. And their white body is virtually iconic by now.
  • AirPods Pro The AirPods Pro, however, improves on the AirPods’ iconic design by having both a shorter stem (total size is 30.9mm for the Pros vs 40.5mm for the basic models) and they also include three rubber tips to give users a better fit. The AirPods Pro are also sweat and water-resistant.

Winner? AirPods Pro – They are both smaller and have a more customizable fit than the basic AirPods.

>>> Best Deal: Amazon – $249.99

Audio & Connectivity

  • AirPods – The AirPods include dual beam-forming microphones, dual optical sensors, a motion-detecting accelerometer, and a speech-detecting accelerometer. They also connect over both Bluetooth and Apple’s H1 chip, which makes connecting them to an iPhone effortless.
  • AirPods Pro – The AirPods Pro also includes dual beam-forming microphones, dual optical sensors, a motion-detecting accelerometer, and a speech-detecting accelerometer. They also connect over both Bluetooth and Apple’s H1 chip, which makes connecting them to an iPhone effortless. However, they have a MAJOR leg up on the AirPods because they support active noise cancellation.

Winner? AirPods Pro – The AirPods Pro have active noise cancellation. Because of that, it’s not even a contest.

AirPods vs AirPods Pro
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Battery & Charging

  • AirPods – The AirPods come in a wired charging case and wireless charging case option. One charge gets you five hours of use and a full case charge gets you over 24 hours of use.
  • AirPods Pro – The AirPods Pro gets you 4.5 hours of use when active noise cancellation is engaged. When active noise cancellation is turned off, you’ll get the same 5 hours of use as regular AirPods. The AirPods Pro also comes with a wireless charging case as standard, which gets you over 24 hours of use.

Winner? AirPods – They technically have a better battery life, however when you turn off the AirPods Pro active noise cancellation, their battery life is exactly the same.

>>> Best Deal: Amazon – $249.99

Samsung Galaxy Buds vs Apple AirPods
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Voice Assistant

  • AirPods – The AirPods support hands-free “Hey Siri” commands as well as giving you full access to all of Siri’s capabilities.
  • AirPods Pro – The AirPods Pro also support hands-free “Hey Siri” commands as well as giving you full access to all of Siri’s capabilities.

Winner? Draw – There’s no difference between the two here.

Cost

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AirPods Pro
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Verdict?

If you want the very best sound quality, no doubt about it, the AirPods Pro are the way to go – as long as you don’t mind paying $249.99 for them. They also support the better design and chances are they’ll fit better in a larger variety of people’s ears as they have three interchangeable tips. They also include the wireless charging case as standard.

However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option for wireless earbuds that fit nicely into Apple’s ecosystem, the basic AirPods with the wired charging case are for you. They’re $90 cheaper than the Pros.

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Apple’s AirPods vs AirPods Pro: Full Specs

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Here are the specs for the AirPods:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, H1 chip
  • Wireless charging: Optional
  • Battery Life: 5 hours AirPod use, 24+ hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Dual beam-forming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion-detecting accelerometer, Speech-detecting accelerometer
  • Voice assistant support: Siri
  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Sweat and water-resistant: No

And here are the specs for the AirPods Pro:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, H1 chip
  • Wireless charging: Yes
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours AirPod use, 24+ hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Dual beam-forming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion-detecting accelerometer, Speech-detecting accelerometer, Force sensor
  • Voice assistant support: Siri
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Sweat and water-resistant: Yes

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

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