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4 Nov 2021 · 5 minutes read
· by Mairead Bond

AirPods Guide

It's been five years since the first generation of Airpods was released, and since then, several variations have been added to the range.

In this post, we provide a simple chronological guide to explain the difference between each generation to help you select the most suitable for your needs - you're welcome!

AirPods 2nd Generation
The production of the first generation AirPods was discontinued in March 2019, following the release of the 2nd generation. So, the 'oldest' (and cheapest) Airpods available to purchase from Apple is the 2nd gen. These can be viewed as the basic foundation of the AirPod family, so nearly everything you get with the 2nd gen you’ll also find in the updated versions.

Powered by the Apple H1 headphone chip, AirPods 2nd gen deliver a fast and stable wireless connection to your devices. The H1 chip also drives voice-enabled Siri access, which lets you do things like check the battery, call people or set reminders. These AirPods come with the Wireless Charging Case - just place the AirPods case on a Qi-certified charging mat and charge away, or if you’re away from a charging mat, you can use the Lightning port. AirPods 2nd gen delivers 5 hours of listening time, and now up to 3 hours of talk time, all on one charge. In need of a quick charge? Well, if you put AirPods back in the case for 15 minutes, you’ll get up to 3 hours of listening time, or up to 2 hours of talk time.

AirPods 2nd generation are available at Apple for £119

AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro were released in October 2019, just a few months after the release of the 2nd generation. So, what does AirPods Pro have that Airpods 2nd gen doesn't? Well, the Pro offers improved comfort, Active Noise Cancellation, and sweat and water resistance. The downside? They are more expensive and have a shorter battery life.

Apple focused on comfort for AirPods Pro - you can choose from three sizes of soft flexible silicone tips that click into place. These internally tapered tips conform to your ear shape, keeping AirPods Pro secure, and with vents helping to equalise pressure, you feel like there’s nothing in your ears. AirPods Pro come with Active Noise Cancellation, which blocks outside noise so you can focus on what you’re listening to. Want to hear what’s happening around you? Just press and hold the force sensor on the stem to jump between Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode, which lets outside sound in. In terms of battery, AirPods Pro offer up to 4.5hrs of listening time from one charge, and around 1hr of listening time from only 5 minutes of charging.

AirPods Pro are available at Apple for £239

AirPods Max
Apple's first ever over-ear headphones were released in December 2020 - and are by far the most expensive option from the AirPods family. They feature Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency Mode, Adaptive EQ, Spatial Audio, and come in a range of 5 colours: Silver, Space Grey, Sky Blue, Pink and Green.

Similar to the AirPods Pro, Apple concentrated on comfort for their headphones. AirPods Max feature oval-shaped ear cups with a U-shaped, inverted knit mesh headband and knit mesh ear cushions. The design of the headband allows AirPods Max to evenly distribute weight and reduce on-head pressure, plus it has adjustable arms to fit a range of head sizes. AirPods Max combine high-fidelity audio with industry-leading Active Noise Cancellation to deliver an immersive listening experience. Each part of their custom-built driver works to produce sound with ultra-low distortion across the audible range. From deep, rich bass, to accurate mids and crisp, clean highs, "you’ll hear every note with a new sense of clarity". AirPods Max has the best battery life of the AirPods family by far, with up to 20 hours of listening time with a single charge.

AirPods Max are available at Apple for £549

AirPods 3rd Generation
AirPods 3rd gen are the newest addition to the AirPods family, having been released in October 2021. When looking at the 3rd generation features, it could be argued that it’s the perfect balance between AirPods 2nd gen and Airpods Pro. AirPods 3rd gen has the spatial audio, and water and sweat resistance of AirPods Pro. And whilst it lacks the Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation, it does have better battery life.

AirPods 3rd gen feature an all-new contoured design. They sit at just the right angle for comfort and to better direct audio to your ear. The stem is 33% shorter than AirPods 2 and includes a force sensor to easily control music and calls. Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking means that sound is placed all around you to create an immersive, three-dimensional listening experience for music, TV shows and movies. Users will enjoy longer battery life, with up to 6 hours of listening time - and you can now wirelessly charge with MagSafe. The case is now also sweat and water resistant, so you’re always covered from rainy weather and sweaty workouts.

AirPods 3 are available at Apple for £169

Which is Best for You?
To find the best AirPods for you, here's a handy table to help you compare the main features:

What Megamac Has To Offer
In case our AirPods guide wasn't enough already, we have a few more things we can help you with...

We offer a range of AirPod accessories to help you make the most of your AirPods experience. From AirPod cases to AirPods tips, check out our range below:

Was our guide helpful? Let us know! We're on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Published 4 Nov 2021 by Mairead Bond
Mairead Bond
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