The best AirPods of 2023: Pricing and features compared (2023)

Apple has come a long way, especially in recent years, expanding its line of successful products to include a variety of devices. Many associate Apple with the iPhone, but the truth is that there are many more products to be considered, especially when it comes to Apple AirPods. These headphones and earbuds combine innovation with performance for a spectacular listening experience.

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But which ones should you buy? This is everything you need to know about the best AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max before you head to the store. If you can't decide between them, this guide will help. We compared pricing, features, and everything else you need to know about Apple's flagship earbuds and headphones.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Phenomenal audio quality
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Lacks USB-C charging
  • Missing EQ adjustment

More Details

Tech Specs: Type: In-ear | Chip: H2 | Battery: 6 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

Apple wins again with its AirPods Pro, a set of in-ear Bluetooth headphones that features Apple's new H2 chip. This model has 2x more Active Noise Cancellation to keep out pesky sounds that can interfere with your listening. Also embedded are both Personalized Spatial Audio and Adaptive Transparency, so your audio automatically adjusts to your environment. They are both sweat- and water-resistant with an IPX4 rating. The battery is not the greatest at just six hours, but you get 24 more with the charging case. Besides, with such fantastic sound, you may not mind.

Read the review: Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen review

The best AirPods of 2023: Pricing and features compared (3)
(Video) Which AirPods to buy in 2023?

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight fit
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Awkward fit for some
  • Upgrade needed for wireless charging case

More Details

Tech Specs: Type: In-ear | Chip: H1 | Battery: 5 hours | Water-resistant: None

The Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) are a step down from the Pro, using the H1 headphone chip. They automatically turn on and connect to your favorite Apple device for easy access, and Siri is incorporated for voice control. It is a simple matter to switch between devices and take calls, making use even easier. You receive three hours of battery on a single charge.

Read the review: Apple AirPod Gen 2 review

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Spatial audio
  • Fantastic performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Lacks noise cancellation
  • Trouble with fit for some users
(Video) AirPods Comparison: Which Is Best For YOU? [2023]

More Details

Tech Specs: Type: In-ear | Chip: H1 | Battery: 6 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation) make listening a simple matter. You simply put them in your ears, and they automatically turn on for easier use. The audio itself is great, too, including spatial audio and Adaptive EQ, which automatically tunes music to the best listening possible. There's a longer battery life, too, at six hours, which matches the AirPods Pro and exceeds the 2nd Generation Apple AirPods. With an open design, they are also sweat- and water-resistant.

Read the review: Apple AirPods 3rd Gen review

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Exceptional sound
  • Very long battery life

Cons

  • Poor case
  • Pricey

More Details

Tech Specs: Type: Over-ear | Chip: H1 | Battery: 20 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

If you are serious about your audio and have a little more to spend, the Apple AirPods Max are your pick. These over-ear headphones are plush and comfortable but don't slack on audio, either. There is both Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode, as well as spatial audio, to take listening to a whole new level. Incorporated is Apple's dynamic driver for better audio, and the entire system uses the H1 chip. Plus, the battery is exceptional with 20 hours of use before a charge is required.

Read the review: AirPods Max review

(Video) Airpods Comparison: Which One Is Right For YOU?

What are the best Apple AirPods?

It can be confusing to differentiate between all the different models of Apple AirPods, so check out our comparison chart below to help you find the best Apple AirPods for your needs and preferences.

Best Apple AirPods

Cost

Battery

Water-resistant

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

$239.00

6 hours

Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)

$99.99

5 hours

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation)

$159.98

6 hours

Apple AirPods Max

$479.99

20 hours

Which are the right Apple AirPods for you?

These suggestions may help you find the best Apple AirPods for your needs.

Choose this pair of Apple AirPods...

If you want...

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

Performance and value, all in one

Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)

Budget-friendly AirPods

Apple AirPods (3rd Generation)

A comfortable fit

Apple AirPods Max

The best sound

How did we choose these Apple AirPods?

There are several factors we consider when evaluating the best Apple AirPods.

  • Chip - The type of chip lets you know about power and performance. Apple has both the H1 chip and H2 chips, which will tell you what kind of speed and performance to expect.
  • Features - Noise cancellation, adaptive transparency, and spatial audio are all features we consider in Apple AirPods. Some water resistance is included, as well.
  • Battery life - Your Apple AirPod is useless if it is constantly low on battery, so we consider the battery life of each model, looking for those with a longer battery life.
  • Cost: Budget is always a priority for most shoppers, so we look for affordability wherever possible.

What are Apple AirPods?

Apple AirPods are some of the best Bluetooth headphones that you can buy today. Along with the iPhone 7, Apple launched the Apple AirPods in September 2016. These wireless headphones automatically communicate with your other Apple devices and can also connect with your other devices through Bluetooth.

What are the best cheap Apple AirPods?

(Video) AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods 3: Real-World Review after 1 Week!

Apple AirPods can range in cost between $100 and $480, with the 2nd Generation Apple AirPods being the cheapest Apple Airpods you can buy.

How much do Apple AirPods cost?

Apple AirPods range in cost based on the year and model. The best Apple AirPods range in cost between $100 and $480, depending on the pair you choose.

Are there alternative Apple AirPods worth considering?

Apple offers many products, but that is everything for its latest AirPods line up. There are still many companies out there that have similar products, so check out our picks for the best headphones and the best noise-canceling headphones.

To learn more about other Apple products, check out the best iPhones and the best iPads!

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FAQs

Will there be new AirPods in 2023? ›

Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported in October that Apple could launch USB-C compatible lineup of AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max “by 2024,” and recently said that Apple's AirPods lineup is unlikely to get “any updates of note” in 2023.

Which AirPods have the most features? ›

The AirPods Pro are the best wireless earbuds that Apple sells, and they deliver some of the best audio-quality and active noise-cancellation that you're likely to find in any pair of wireless earbuds. The support a high-quality audio, such as Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos. They can wireless charge.

Are AirPods 3 much better than 2? ›

The third-generation AirPods add a raft of meaningful features and improvements over its predecessor, including improved design and sound quality, spatial audio, Adaptive EQ, sweat and water resistance, and ‌MagSafe‌ charging. The second-generation model is also now fairly old.

Are AirPod prices dropping? ›

Apple released the latest AirPods in October 2021, and Amazon wasted no time dropping the price relative to other retailers. Even though it seems like Apple just released these wireless earbuds, Amazon will occasionally drop their prices from $180 to $150.

What is the difference between AirPods Pro 2 and 3? ›

Aside from the design change, which should fit most ears better than the AirPods 2nd Generation (though not very small ears), the biggest change is to the sound quality: It's much improved. Also, battery life is better, and the AirPods 3 are officially water-resistant.

Which one is better Airpod 3 or pro? ›

You should only buy the ‌AirPods Pro‌ if you specifically prefer the fit and improved sound that in-ear silicone tips can provide, or need Active Noise Cancellation. It is also worth buying ‌AirPods Pro‌ if you could make good use of Apple's Conversation Boost accessibility feature.

Which is the No 1 AirPods brand? ›

According to Counterpoint Research, with the launch of their latest AirPods 3, Apple took the number 1 spot in the premium category.

Which Airpod is better than Apple? ›

The Google Pixel Buds Pro are a great AirPods alternative for Android users with multiple devices looking for the very best Google Assistant experience. They have powerful sound with a usefully wide frequency range, and good ANC performance that doesn't affect quality or the level of enjoyment.

What is the difference between AirPods 2 and pro? ›

Although the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ feature the same design as their predecessor, they improve on features like Active Noise Cancellation, in-ear detection, and battery life, while introducing new functionality like Adaptive Transparency, volume adjustment touch controls, and precision finding.

Is AirPods Pro 2 worth it? ›

Verdict. The second-generation AirPods Pro are Apple's best earbuds yet. They sound better, have more effective noise cancelling, last longer on a charge and keep what is good about their predecessors. The onboard volume control is very welcome, as is the adaptive transparency feature.

Are AirPods 3 worth the extra money? ›

These are easily the best AirPods Apple has made, outdone only by the AirPods Pro. The Pro earbuds are the best, and if you travel a lot, that noise-cancelling will be worth the extra money (AirPods Pro cost $249 standardly, though discounts are coming in more regularly).

Does AirPods 3 fall out easily? ›

Much like most earbuds on the market, the AirPods (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Gen) and AirPods Pro seem to suffer from a simple yet annoying problem — occasionally falling out of the ear. This is unnerving, especially for joggers, athletes, and people on the go.

Why is AirPods 3rd Gen cheaper? ›

Price. The AirPods Pro remain the most expensive of the three earbuds at $249. Because the third-generation AirPods ($179) joined, rather than replaced, the second-generation model in the lineup, the latter are now available at a discount ($129).

Why are AirPods so cheap on Amazon? ›

Why are Apple products so cheap on Amazon? The answer is pretty simple. Amazon buys Apple products in bulk, in advance and at a whole sale price (i.e. not the MSRP), which allows them to sell the devices at a discount and still make a little bit of a profit.

How long will AirPods last? ›

With multiple charges in your case, you get up to 30 hours of listening time,7 or up to 20 hours of talk time. Your AirPods (3rd generation) can get up to 6 hours of listening time (up to 5 hours with Spatial Audio enabled)9 or up to 4 hours of talk time on a single charge.

What's the difference between AirPods 3 and 3 Pro? ›

AirPods 3 gives you up to 6 hours of audio playback from a single charge, while the AirPods Pro battery life gives 4.5 hours of audio playback, that's two hours more battery life and half an hour more talking time. The battery in the AirPods 3 charging case has also been improved compared to the AirPods Pro.

Are the AirPods Pro 3rd generation worth it? ›

It's a big draw to get the latest and greatest thing out there, but the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) may not be it for everyone. These earphones are fine enough, but the main reason to buy them is if you love the old ones and want more of the same with slight improvements.

Is AirPods Pro worth it? ›

For just $50 USD more than the original model with the wireless charging case, this is definitely the pair of buds to get. The AirPods Pro (1st generation) sounds better than the originals and has a way better fit and active noise cancelling to boot. If you have an iOS device, just get this.

Which is the No 1 earbuds in the world? ›

Apple AirPods Pro

If it keeps up the excellent work, the AirPods Pro is one of the best wireless earbuds in the world.

What are the top 5 earbuds? ›

Sony WF-1000XM4
  • Sony WF-1000XM4.
  • Jabra Elite 3.
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II.
  • Beats Fit Pro.
  • Apple AirPods Pro (second generation)
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
  • Google Pixel Buds Pro.
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3.
Nov 18, 2022

Is it OK to buy AirPods from Best Buy? ›

They are the same ones you would buy at Apple only Best Buy has better pricing.

Which AirPods is best for iPhone? ›

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are the best wireless earbuds for iPhone we've tested. These premium and iconic buds are a good choice for anyone looking for the full Apple experience. Unlike their predecessor, the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless, they have an H2 chip instead of an H1 chip.

What Apple products are coming out in 2023? ›

New Macs
  • iMac. A M2 iMac–and we hope an M2 Pro iMac–could/should be in the pipeline at Apple. ...
  • Mac Pro. ...
  • 15-inch MacBook Air. ...
  • Bigger iPad Pro. ...
  • iPhone 15. ...
  • iPhone SE Plus. ...
  • HomePod with screen. ...
  • AR Glasses/Mixed Reality Headset.
5 days ago

Will there be new AirPods next year? ›

Apple announced the new AirPods at an event on Wednesday, September 7, alongside a new series of iPhones and new Apple Watches. They will become available to pre-order on September 9, and go on sale on September 23. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

Is Airpod 4 coming out? ›

That said, Apple tends to update its entry-level AirPods every couple of years. And with the AirPods 3 just a few months old at the time of writing, fans shouldn't really expect AirPods 4 to land until late 2023 or even early 2024.

Will there be more AirPods coming out? ›

It's unclear when Apple will release a follow-up of the AirPods. Since the company is readying the introduction of a new codec, it makes sense whether AirPods 4 features Bluetooth 5.3 support and LC3 codec – but there are no other rumors so far. It could likely feature the new H2 chip.

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