AirPods 3 (2021) vs AirPods 2 (2019): comparison and differences

In short

AirPods 3 at the best price
Base price: 199 €

AirPods 3, for whom?

The third generation AirPods are the most advanced. If we compare them to the AirPods 2, we can see clear differences that are beneficial to the user, whether in terms of autonomy, design, functionality or charging. But to sum up, although the AirPods (3rd gen) won the gold medal in this comparison with the AirPods 2, they are actually just an update of the latter. There are thus many more similarities than differences between the two pairs.

Only downside: the third generation of AirPods is more expensive, by fifty euros.

AirPods 2: the best value for money

Looking more closely at their case, we still see that the AirPods 2 remain an excellent choice, or even better value for money. Because let us remember, but AirPods are much more expensive than many competing brands just as – or even more – qualitative. Sure, the 2019 AirPods are less durable and aren’t MagSafe compatible or water resistant, but they sound about as good as the 2021 AirPods.

Indeed, the second generation AirPods are certainly not entitled to Space Audio but this option remains anecdotal to this day. They also don’t have adaptive EQ. Other audio specifics are lacking in comparison to the AirPods 3, but only experts in the subject should notice, but we know that they are clearly not the target of Apple, which instead targets the general public.

AirPods 2 with wired charging at the best price
Base price: 179 €

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Detailed comparison


As we said above, the AirPods 3 are therefore waterproof, which is confirmed by their IPX4 certification which was not granted to the AirPods 2. A quick comparison of the dimensions is also necessary. We are therefore entitled to 40.5 x 16.5 x 18 mm for the AirPods 2 against 30.79 x 18.26 x 19.21 mm for the AirPods 3. In short, the headphones of 2021 are shorter and a bit shorter. wider. Their weight is also a heavier one, but the difference is only 0.28g.

What about the charging case? History is repeating itself: it is less tall and wider, with almost the same thickness. Ditto for the weight: the difference is minimal, and you probably won’t know the difference every day.

AirPods 2021 ©

However, be aware that neither AirPods (3rd generation) nor AirPods (2nd generation) are in-ear, so they are not stable if you move around a lot. In this case, it is better to go for the AirPods Pro.

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 comparison report (design): 1 point for the waterproofness of AirPods 3

Battery life: AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3

This is not necessarily noticeable on a daily basis depending on the volume chosen, but the battery of AirPods 3 lasts longer than that of AirPods 2. Our detailed comparison thus speaks of six hours on a single charge, against “only” five hours for the second generation AirPods. In total autonomy (with the case), the difference is clearer: twenty-four hours for AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 at thirty-six hours.

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 (battery) comparison: victory for AirPods 3

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 comparison

2nd generation AirPods ©

The case of MagSafe charging

AirPods 3 are compatible with MagSafe wireless (induction) charging, unlike AirPods 2 which is content with a Lightning plug. Also, it only takes them five minutes of power to get about an hour of listening or the same amount of calls. Their USB-C cable is therefore more efficient than the USB-A cable for AirPods (2nd generation), which only offers two hours of talk time for about fifteen minutes of connection.

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 (charging) comparison: AirPods 3 charge faster and wirelessly

Features of AirPods 3 not found on AirPods 2

AirPods 3 are Space Audio compatible, feature adaptive EQ, and offer more touch controls. This is not the case with the AirPods 2019. For voice control, however, no difference: “Say Siri”Is present on both models.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 comparative review (features): equality, Space Audio is very gadget

Comparison AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 differences

AirPods 3 ©

Better compatibility with AirPods 2?

If we now compare the list of devices that can pair without a hitch to AirPods 2 with that of AirPods of 2021, we can see that there are a few notable differences. These include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5s which are not advertised as eligible for connection with third generation AirPods. So of course, this will always be possible with a few technical manipulations with the Bluetooth chip, but they are strongly discouraged so as not to void the warranty.

The same goes for the first iPad Air, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2 and iPod touch 6. However, don’t forget that since AirPods 3 are newer, they will in theory be more supported. long time…

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 comparison report (compatible devices): surprise victory for AirPods 2!

AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 comparison

AirPods 2 ©

Audio comparison

Beyond the Space Audio which is therefore only offered by a few apps for the moment, it should be noted that the AirPods 2 also have no “custom designed high excursion Apple transducer”Unlike AirPods 3. Neither adaptive equalization or amplifier“custom designed high dynamic range“.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 (sound) comparative review: only the experts will tell the difference

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2: the sensors

The Motion Accelerometer and Voice Detector Accelerometer are included on AirPods 2019 and AirPods 2021. But AirPods 3 are also entitled to a pressure sensor and can detect the skin to restart a track after taking the earbuds out of the box. poached. This is not the case with the AirPods 2, although they do have two optical sensors.

AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 (sensors) comparison: better response with AirPods 3

Comparison AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 differences

3rd generation AirPods ©

Price comparison

Let’s finish with the price comparison. You will find prices from 149 euros for AirPods 2 vs AirPods 3 from 199 euros. However, be aware that since AirPods (2nd generation) are older, they are often on sale. But be careful not to go wrong, because they also existed with wireless charging, for more expensive. This model is just no longer available in the Apple Store.

AirPods 2 (2019)

€ 149

Comparison AirPods 3 vs AirPods 2 differences

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AirPods 3 (2021) vs AirPods 2 (2019): comparison and differences