The Evolution of AirPods: Are We Buying The Same Earphones

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The Evolution of AirPods: Are We Buying The Same Earphones

5 years ago on September 7, 2016, the first generation Air Pods was unveiled. Priced at $159, these little earbuds took the market by storm and is now Apple’s most popular item. Today, Apple has five different generations of Air Pods. For us consumers, we expect new versions of each successful product at times. Although, it begs the question. How different are these headphone aside from the looks? Now while we consider the evolution of AirPods, you may want to ask yorself. ” Am I buying the same earphones?”

Apple AirPods: First Generation

Air Pods were highly anticipated and opened up a new market for wireless headphones. Upon release, the impressively smooth features created a grasp on mainstream media and quickly became a must-have for many consumers. Many did not know this would be the beginning of the evolution of the AirPods.

Weight AirPods (each): 0.14 ounce (4 g)
Charging Case: 1.34 ounces (38 g)
Dimensions AirPods (each): 0.65 x 0.71 x 1.59 inches (16.5 x 18.0 x 40.5 mm)
Charging Case: 1.74 x 0.84 x 2.11 inches (44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm)
Resistance Not waterproof or water resistant
Capabilities – Access Siri with double-tap
– Extended use and battery life with Portable Charging Case
– Fast charging in case
– Easily switches between devices via Bluetooth
– High quality sound
– Automatically connects to device upon removal from case
– Quick Setup with iPhone

Apple AirPods: Second Generation

These Air Pods do not differ much on their appearance. Although, these Air Pods differ a bit in other areas. Most notably, this pair is a little more wireless. It has the ability to charge through wireless chargers.

The Evolution of Air Pods: Are We Buying The Same Earphones?
Weight AirPods (each): 0.14 ounce (4 g)
Charging Case: 1.34 ounces (38 g)
Dimensions AirPods (each): 0.65 x 0.71 x 1.59 inches (16.5 x 18.0 x 40.5 mm)
Charging Case: 1.74 x 0.84 x 2.11 inches (44.3 x 21.3 x 53.5 mm)
Resistance Not waterproof or water resistant
Capabilities – Access Siri with double-tap
– Extended use and battery life with Portable Charging Case
– Fast charging in case
– Easily switches between devices via Bluetooth
– High quality sound
– Automatically connects to device upon removal from case
– Quick Setup with iPhone
– Can Wirelessly charge with wireless charger
– Active Noise Cancellation

Apple AirPods Pro

These Air Pod Pros are similar and alike to the other Air Pod pros in many ways. Although, it does offer a superior quality in sound than its ancestors. Their are complaints of the ear pieces not being as comfortable as the original Air Pods. Upon initial release, these AirPods have retailed at a whopping $249. If you are a lover of quality music, this hefty price tag may be a bargain for you. The current price has decreased gradually over time. So now, it may be a little more affordable.

The Evolution of Air Pods: Are We Buying The Same Earphones?
Weight AirPods (each): 0.19 ounce (5.4 g)
Charging Case: 1.61 ounces (45.6 g)
Dimensions AirPods (each):  0.94 by 0.86 by 1.22 inches (16.5 by 18.0 by 40.5 mm)
Charging Case: 1.78 by 0.85 by 2.39 inches (45.2 by 21.7 by 60.6 mm)
Resistance Water resistant, sweat resistant
Capabilities – Access Siri with double-tap
– Extended use and battery life with Portable Charging Case
– Fast charging in case
– Easily switches between devices via Bluetooth
– High quality sound
– Automatically connects to device upon removal from case
– Quick Setup with iPhone
– Can Wirelessly charge with wireless charger
– Active Noise Cancellation
– Transparency Mode

Apple AirPods Max

These definitely differ from the previous AirPods. They really do not look like AirPods at all. Although, I assure you they share the same high quality sound or even superior.

The Evolution of Air Pods: Are We Buying The Same Earphones?
Weight AirPods Max: 13.6 ounces (384.8 grams); Smart Case: 4.74 ounces (134.5 grams)
Dimensions AirPods Max: 6.64 by 3.28 by 7.37 inches (168.6 by 83.4 by 187.3 mm)
Resistance Not waterproof or water resistant
Capabilities – Control the volume level by turning the crown in either direction.
– Single-press digital crown to play or pause, double-press the crown to skip forward.
Triple-press to go back.
– Press and hold digital crown to trigger Siri.
– Active Noise Cancellation
– Transparency Mode
– Auto-play and auto-pause
– Spatial Audio

Apple AirPods: Third Generation

The third generation AirPods is of course very similar in design with the others. Although, it most notable has a shorter stem than the previous models and a more “contoured” design to better fit most ears. Battery life has improved and these can offer up to 6 hours of listening time and four hours of talk time. Also, with the fast charge feature. You can add a hour of battery life with just 5 minutes of charging. While case offers 4 additional charges adding up to 30 hours of listening time.

Evolution of AirPods
Weight AirPods (each): 0.15 ounce (4.28 g), Magsafe Charging Case: 1.34 ounces (37.91 g
Dimensions AirPods (each): 0.76 by 0.72 by 1.21 inches (19.21 by 18.26 by 30.79 mm), Charging Case: 1.83 by 0.84 by 2.14 inches (46.40 by 21.38 by 54.40 mm)
Resistance Completely waterproof
Capabilities – Access Siri with double-tap
– Extended use and battery life with Portable Charging Case
– Fast charging in case
– Easily switches between devices via Bluetooth
– High quality sound
– Automatically connects to device upon removal from case
– Quick Setup with iPhone
– Can Wirelessly charge with wireless charger
– Active Noise Cancellation
– Transparency Mode

Shared Features

  • Audio share your music with the same device with up to two pair of AirPods
  • Listen in to audio going on around your phone even in a separate room with Live Listen
  • AirPods can be used as makeshift hearing aids
  • Optimize how you use your AirPods, Setting>Bluetooth>AirPods “i” icon
    • Options to change include play, pause, skip, etc. 
  • Find My is a app that can be used to find misplaced or stolen AirPods
  • AirPods can connect to any device that has Bluetooth capabilities
  • Use one AirPod to preserve battery when one needs to charge(with the exception of the AirPod Max)
  • Name of AirPods can be changed

Pricing

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Adding it All Together

With all things considered, the evolution of AirPods has proved Apple to be a innovative. AirPods are convenient and offer many nice features anyone could fall in love with. It is difficult to answer whether the difference between these AirPods is significant enough to justify its unique prices. As far as features, the famed Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode are not available on the first and second generation. Aside from its physical design, the AirPods most notable difference among generations is its quality of sound and battery life. It seems that if you are not a consumer who needs a great battery life or great quality sound.

It may not be very practical for you to spend so much money on the newer models of the AirPods. Watching the the evolution of AirPods from the initial release, it is impressive how much an item can change or stay the same but still be successful.

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