AirPods buying guide, how are they different? — 2022

AirPods are a really fantastic product that has evolved over the years, in fact, what was born as a product, is now derived into different models to cover the different needs that the user who needs headphones may have. with fantastic features. In this post we tell you everything you need to know about the entire range of Apple headphones.

AirPods, one of the greatest successes of recent years

When Apple introduced the AirPods in September 2016, it received a lot of criticism due to its design and price. Nobody understood how the Cupertino company had taken the famous EarPods, eliminated their cable and launched them on the market for a price of around 200 euros. However, what initially seemed like a blunder by the Cupertino company has become one of Apple's greatest successes in years, giving birth to a new device that has been able to make all users fall in love without exception. .

The AirPods, although criticized for their design, have succeeded mainly because of that, their minimalist aesthetics and, above all, their comfort. Both when it comes to using them with other Apple devices and because of how good they feel in the ears, giving the feeling of having nothing. These have been a real success, in fact you only have to see the number of units of AirPods, of all models, which are continuously sold.

The popularity achieved has been so striking and forceful that, as a result of these headphones, many manufacturers decided to make the leap into this sector by introducing really similar products, trying to compete with Apple's AirPods. Therefore we could say that in the end, whether or not they are the best, they have managed to be an icon of wireless headphones and of course, Apple once again has been able to set a very clear trend within the market, because despite the fact that Before the arrival of the AirPods, wireless headphones already existed, from this moment it was really when users began to be interested in it.

How many ranges of Apple headphones are there?

The success of the AirPods has been so great that different updates and also different products have been derived from the initial product. In this way Apple currently has three different product ranges, the AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max . Within these we can find several generations (although at the moment only the AirPods have been renewed).

These three headphone models within the AirPods range respond to different user profiles and, obviously, with different needs but they were born from the same concept, the original AirPods. Below we are going to analyze each of the models separately from those currently sold in the Apple Store, looking at their features and prices, but above all also, telling you which users may be most interested in each of the models. .

The simplest: AirPods (2nd gen.)

We start with the most basic range, the AirPods. Popularly known as AirPods 2nd generation or AirPods 2, they have the same design than the original AirPods. However, they differ in certain aspects from those presented by Apple in September 2016. The so-called 2nd generation AirPods are an evolution of the original AirPods, incorporating certain functions that are really useful for everyday life and that were completely necessary that they will incorporate , since despite the fact that the first version was a real success, naturally it had many things to improve that were carried out with this second version.

First, they have the ability to activate Siri using voice commands , something that can be very useful if you go down the street with your headphones and want to call someone without using your Apple Watch or your iPhone. At the level of sensors , they have two microphones with beamforming technology, two optical sensors, a motion detection accelerometer and a voice detection accelerometer. They ride the chip H1 from Apple and also offer the possibility of performing different gestures to interact with the headphones. The latter has always been one of the points where some users have criticized AirPods, since, for example, to be able to raise and lower the volume you have to use your iPhone, or also your Apple Watch, unless you use the commands of Siri voice for it.

Refering to autonomy They offer up to 5 hours of audio playback on a single charge and 3 hours of talk time. In addition, the charging box will give you up to 4 charges from 0 to 100 of the AirPods. If it is true that it is not a very large autonomy, but it is also necessary to take into account the existing limitations due to the size of these devices. Even so, it is not a bad autonomy, in fact it is more or less the same as what you can find in other competing headphones.

Within the AirPods there are two differentiations, the AirPods with charging box and AirPods with wireless charging box . The only difference between them is that the box, in some you can charge it on wireless charging bases and in others only by cable. Finally, you have to know that, despite the fact that there is currently a new improved version of the AirPods, such as the third generation, which we will talk about next, the Cupertino company has not removed the AirPods 2 from its catalog , being available for a price of €149 .

The evolution of AirPods (3rd gen.)

These headphones have been the first aesthetic change in the basic range of these headphones, although taking into account the others, it is not an excessively big change either. Its design is very similar to that of the 'Pro', only without the need to use them with pads and without functions such as noise cancellation. In its design it has a haptic button which serves as playback control.

airpods 3

They have the same chip H1 than its predecessor range, although in its case it includes sound level improvements with technologies such as Spatial Audio or Adaptive Evaluation. They also offer a autonomy of 6 hours , which increases with a single charge of a few minutes in its case, which has a battery to recharge AirPods up to 30 times. Case that, in addition, is compatible with MagSafe technology , that is, it can magnetically adhere to charging bases that take advantage of this technology.

It also highlights the fact that they are water and sweat resistant , so they are very practical for athletes who like to listen to music or a podcast during their activity, so that they can do so without fear of sweat spoiling them or a downpour falling that ends up damaging the headphones. Their only price It is 199 euros, being more expensive than what the AirPods 2 without a case with wireless charging were in their day, although cheaper than those that offered that charge.

You can use them for everything: AirPods Pro

The first real evolution of the AirPods are the AirPods Pro, headphones that add noise cancellation to the original ones and that, in addition, also undergo a striking change in design , becoming smaller and in-ear headphones, something that raised controversy in some users, but necessary to be able to offer good noise cancellation.

As we told you, the AirPods Pro have several sound modes: Active Noise Cancellation, Ambient Sound Mode, Adaptive EQ, Slotted Pressure Compensation, Apple Custom High Excursion Transducer, Custom High Dynamic Range Amplifier, and Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head Tracking.

At the level of sensors , these headphones have two microphones with beamforming technology, an inward-facing microphone, two optical sensors, a motion detection accelerometer, a voice detection accelerometer and a pressure sensor, all with the Sip chip, based on the chip H1 .

The way of interact with the AirPods Pro it also differs from the AirPods. In these headphones you will not have to lightly touch the headphones, but rather put pressure on their pins. They also have IPX4 certification that makes them resistant to sweat and water.

As to autonomy , have up to 4.5 hours of audio playback on a single charge with noise cancellation and 3.5 hours of talk time. As with the AirPods 2, the AirPods Pro wireless charging box gives up to 4 full charges of the headphones. And since October 2021, it shares a quality with the AirPods 3 and that is that its charging case is compatible with MagSafe, although only in models that have been sold as of that date.

In short, the AirPods Pro are very complete headphones that, thanks to their noise cancellation, sound quality, and comfort features, become all-terrain headphones, capable of being used for practically anything, anytime, anywhere. The price of these AirPods Pro is 279 euros in the Apple Store.

Bring luxury to your ears: AirPods Max

After conquering the market for wireless headphones, Apple wanted to make the leap to headband headphones or helmets, in this way the AirPods Max are born, which in the same way that happened with the original AirPods, have also aroused much controversy, mainly due to their price.

With the AirPods Max, the Cupertino company wanted to take luxury to its maximum expression, since these headphones are, without a doubt, a product made with materials of extreme quality, offering in addition to spectacular noise cancellation and sound quality, a feeling of a premium device, a luxury device.

They are available in 5 different colors: silver, space gray, sky blue, pink and green. This is also a novelty, since both AirPods and AirPods Pro are only available in one color (white).

To level technological , AirPods Max feature an Apple-designed dynamic driver, active noise cancellation, ambient sound mode, adaptive equalization, and spatial audio with dynamic head tracking. It features an optical sensor, position sensor, holster sensor, and accelerometer in each of the earbuds, and a gyroscope in the left earbud.

Apple AirPods Max

also has nine microphones In total, eight of them are responsible for active noise cancellation and three to capture the voice, of which two are shared with active noise cancellation and one only for this function. All this accompanied by the Apple H1 chip.

For interact With the AirPods Max, Apple has introduced the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch in these headphones, in addition to offering different touches to carry out different actions in these headphones.

Let's talk about the autonomy . AirPods Max guarantee up to 20 hours of audio playback on a single charge with active noise cancellation, up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge with spatial audio enabled, and up to 20 hours of talk time on a single charge. . Unlike its little brothers, when you put the AirPods Max in the Smart Case it doesn't charge, but instead goes into ultra-low power mode to save battery life.

The price of these AirPods Max is 629 euros, hence all the controversy that has arisen around this product that, without a doubt, offers a really fantastic user experience, but for price it goes too far compared to headphones that offer the same user experience but with clearly worse construction materials.

AirPods that are no longer for sale

In addition to those mentioned, there are other Apple headphones that were discontinued with the arrival of new generations:

    AirPods (1st gen):earphones very similar to the AirPods 2, but without the H1 chip, without Hey Siri support, and without offering versions with cases that can be recharged wirelessly. AirPods (2nd gen – wireless charging case):already mentioned in the AirPods 2 section, this being the version whose case offers the possibility of recharging in charging bases compatible with the Qi standard. This is the only difference they have with those that have been left for sale.

Know all the information about your AirPods

Next, we will tell you the keys to know what type of headphones you have, being able to know all the information about them, such as their serial number.

Locate serial number and IMEI

If you want to know what the serial number or IMEI of your AirPods is, you can do it in three different ways. The first, looking at the back of the device box, the second from the iPhone itself by following the steps below.

  1. Open the AirPods case and put them on.
  2. Open Settings on the iPhone.
  3. Tap Bluetooth.
  4. Then press the i next to the name of your headphones.
  5. Look at what it says under Serial Number.

IMEI airpods

And third, if you have AirPods or AirPods Pro, the serial number is also found on the charging box of the AirPods themselves. For AirPods Max, you'll need to remove the left magnetic pad, and you'll also find the serial number inside the earbud.

airpods serial number

Find your AirPods

Just as you can use the Find My app to find your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or any Apple device, you can also use it to find your AirPods if you've lost them or don't know where you left them. To do this, you just have to enter the Search app on your iPhone or through the iCloud website.

Of course, you should keep in mind that this functionality has some drawbacks. If the headphones aren't near any other Apple devices like an iPhone, iPad, or Mac (whether or not they're yours), they won't be able to send their signal. This is because the other devices act as a beacon, sending the location to Apple servers and making it possible for you to locate them from the application.

Find my AirPods

Possible faults in the headphones

As with all technological products, AirPods, regardless of the model, can suffer from a series of failures. Below we tell you the most common along with their solution.


This is a rare failure in AirPods, but it can happen and its solution is quite simple. It is about the two headphones being out of sync with each other causing them to work separately. That is, each one works independently. We insist on the rare occurrence of this, but if it happens to you, you should not worry because it is easily solved.

To fix this problem, you just have to restore the headphones, a process that is carried out in a similar way in almost all of them and that involves pressing and holding the main button for approximately 15 seconds. In the case of the normal AirPods and the 'Pro', the headphones will have to be in the case.

Strange sounds

One of the most common issues with AirPods and AirPods Pro is hearing strange sounds inside the earphone. The solution to this is to perform a device restore. However, this may be the result of a manufacturing fault, so this solution is not always effective.

In the latter case, what we recommend is that you contact Apple so that they can guide you to solve this problem with your AirPods. In fact, the company has a replacement program for some AirPods Pro units in place because when walking or running with the headphones on, some users hear certain clicks inside the earphone.

Noise cancellation issues

This problem, at the moment, is only present in some units of the AirPods Pro, in which the noise cancellation stops working in one or both headphones. For this, Apple has opened a replacement program for some units that are affected by a manufacturing problem and offer a completely free solution.

In any case, we insist again on this point in the restoration of the headphones. It may seem like an obvious solution, but you would be surprised how many problems on devices of this type are solved by doing this.

Headphone condensation

In this case, this condensation problem is only affecting some units of the AirPods Max, but it really does not become a problem that affects the operation or quality of the headphones themselves. The only thing that happens is that after continued use of these, in some units, droplets of condensation have appeared inside the headphones.

If the problem becomes more serious, you can always contact Apple support. They will check the unit and can determine if the failure is caused by a factory defect, in which case they will offer you a replacement which, if they are still under warranty, will be absolutely free.