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.

ZDNET Recommends

The best wireless earbuds With good earbuds, you can do everything from making calls when you're on the move to listening to your favorite music to blocking out the world around you. Read now

Also:The best AirPods and AirPods Pro deals

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

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 Comparison: Which One Is Right For YOU?

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!

ZDNET Recommends

CES 2023 tech you can actually buy now
What are bone conduction headphones and which one should you buy?
The best iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini deals right now
What is the world's brightest flashlight? The top contenders ranked by lumens
The 11 best AirPods deals right now
  • CES 2023 tech you can actually buy now
  • What are bone conduction headphones and which one should you buy?
  • The best iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini deals right now
    (Video) EARBUDS AWARDS 2022 [Very Best Bluetooth Earbuds by Category]
  • What is the world's brightest flashlight? The top contenders ranked by lumens
  • The 11 best AirPods deals right now

Videos

1. TOP 5: Best True Wireless Earbuds 2022
(Top Tech Now)
2. AirPods Pro 2 vs AirPods Pro 1 - Should You Upgrade?
(ZONEofTECH)
3. AirPods 2 VS AirPods 3: Full Compare!
(AppleInsider)
4. Airpods Pro 2 Review & Comparison: Upgrade? Which one to buy?
(Joshua Chang)
5. AirPods Pro 1 In 2023! (Still Worth Buying?) (Review)
(Simple Alpaca)
6. TOP 6 PREMIUM WIRELESS EARBUDS 2022 [Tested & Compared!]
(Mike O'Brien)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 02/14/2023

Views: 6466

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.