AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro, AirPods 2/3: Which are the best choice this holiday season?


As the follow-up to Apple’s hit earphones with active noise cancellation, AirPods Pro 2 come with a number of thoughtful upgrades. That includes features like 2x more noise cancellation, adaptive transparency, an upgraded charging case with Find My tracking, speaker, lanyard loop, and much more. Read along for our in-depth comparison of AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro, AirPods 3, and 2.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro, AirPods 2/3: In-depth comparison

Key features

AirPods Pro 2 come packed with lots of new and useful features. Headlining that list is 2x more active noise cancelation, a new adaptive transparency feature, improved audio quality, mics, and a brand new MagSafe charging case with Find My, speaker, and more.

AirPods Pro 2 AirPods Pro AirPods 3 AirPods 2
Active noise cancellation ✅ – 2x more than orig. AirPods Pro ✅ ⌠âŒ
Adaptive transparency mode ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ
Transparency mode – ✅ ⌠âŒ
Adaptive EQ ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
IPX4 sweat and water-resistant (buds and case) ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Hey Siri support ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
Automatic switching ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
MagSafe charging case – ✅ Optional âŒ
MagSafe charging case with Find My support, speaker, and lanyard loop ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ

Apple says “a new driver and improved acoustic algorithms help Active Noise Cancellation reduce more unwanted noise, so nothing interrupts listening during your commute and when you need to focus.â€

And the new adaptive transparency feature powered by the H2 chip can reduce loud noises in your environment up to 48,000 times per second.

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro adaptive transparency

Alongside those features, AirPods Pro 2 uses new algorithms to process sound more quickly. That allows them to immerse you in even higher-fidelity sound customized for your ear shape, better recognize your voice/Siri commands, and reduce distortion.

Battery life and charging case

The new MagSafe charging case that comes with AirPods Pro 2 alone may be enough for some people to upgrade.

You’re getting a U1 chip that brings precise Find My support when you lose track of the earphones. The case also has a speaker for new low battery alerts – also useful when lost. Plus there’s a lanyard loop.

When it comes to battery life, AirPods Pro 2 see a bump from 5 hours on a single charge to 6 and 30 hours of use with the case vs 24 hours with the original AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro 2 AirPods Pro AirPods 3 AirPods 2
Battery on a single charge Up to 6 hours Up to 5 hours Up to 6 hours Up to 5 hours
Talk time on a single charge Up to 4.5 hours Up to 3.5 hours Up to 4 hours Up to 3 hours
Battery with charging case Up to 30 hours 24+ hours Up to 30 hours Up to 24 hours
5 min. charge = ~1-hour use ~1-hour use ~1-hour use ~1-hour use
Speaker and Lanyard loop built into charging case ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ
MagSafe charging case ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Charge with MagSafe, Apple Watch puck, Qi, or Lightning ✅, ✅, ✅, ✅ ✅, âŒ, ✅, ✅ ✅, âŒ, ✅, ✅ âŒ, âŒ, ✅, ✅

One more bonus with the new AirPods Pro 2 charging case is the ability to charge with an Apple Watch charging puck alongside MagSafe, Qi, or Lightning.

Chips and connectivity

AirPods Pro 2 chip and connectivity

Apple says the new H2 chip is what enables the valuable new features discussed above. Along with that and the U1 in the charging case, you get Bluetooth 5.3 whereas previous AirPods models use Bluetooth 5.0

AirPods Pro 2 AirPods Pro AirPods 3 AirPods 2
H2 chip ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ
H1 chip – ✅ ✅ ✅
U1 chip in charging case ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ
Bluetooth 5.3 5.0 5.0 5.0

Mics, sensors, and audio tech

Some of the new features here for AirPods Pro 2 include redesigned inward-facing microphone, swipe touch control for volume joins the force sensor stems, skin-detect sensor from AirPods 3 is present, and an improved custom-built driver and amplifier for the H2 chip.

AirPods Pro 2 AirPods Pro AirPods 3 AirPods 2
Dual beamforming mics ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
Inward-facing mic ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Touch control (force + swipe) ✅ ⌠⌠âŒ
Force sensor – ✅ ✅ âŒ
Orig. touch control (taps) – – – ✅
Skin-detect sensor ✅ ⌠✅ âŒ
Dual optical sensors – ✅ – ✅
Motion-detecting accelerometer ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
Speech-detecting accelerometer ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
Custom high-excursion Apple driver ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Custom high dynamic range amplifier ✅ ✅ ✅ âŒ
Vent system for pressure equalization ✅ ✅ ⌠âŒ

AirPods Pro 2 fit, size, and weight

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro fit

AirPods Pro 2 are essentially identical in design to AirPods Pro. But one addition is a new XS size ear tips included in the box.

Earbud fit/dimensions AirPods Pro 2 AirPods Pro AirPods 3 AirPods 2
Fit In-ear (4 silicone tip sizes included) In-ear (3 silicone tip sizes included) Outer-ear/universal fit Outer-ear/universal fit
Height 1.22 in (30.9 mm) 1.22 in (30.9 mm) 1.21 in ( 30.79 mm) 1.59 in (40.5 mm)
Width 0.86 in (21.8 mm) 0.86 in (21.8 mm) 0.72 in (18.26 mm) 0.65 in (16.5 mm)
Depth 0.94 inch (24 mm) 0.94 inch (24 mm) 0.76 in (19.21 mm) 0.71 in (18 mm)
Weight 0.19 oz (5.3 g) 0.19 oz (5.4 g) 0.15 oz (4.28 g) 0.14 oz (4 g)

AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 wrap-up

AirPods Pro 2

Normally priced at the same $249 that the original AirPods Pro came in at, AirPods Pro 2 feature impressive improvements.

From double the active noise cancellation, new adaptive transparency, increased battery life, upgraded MagSafe charging case, and more, AirPods Pro 2 are helping Apple continue its reign as maker of the most popular earphones.

However, for those that would rather save some cash, and don’t mind skipping the new features, keep an eye out for better prices on the original AirPods Pro. Of course, if an in-ear fit isn’t your thing, AirPods 3 are the way to go.

AirPods Pro 2 are available from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, and BH Photo.

Thanks for reading our guide on AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro, AirPods 3, and 2!

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