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Best Airpods 2022: Top Rated Apple Headphones And Earbuds For You

The best AirPods and Apple headphones provide excellent value. In terms of sound, performance, and features, these earbuds and headphones are superior to most of Apple’s products, despite their higher price tag.

Previously, Apple headphones were synonymous with the flimsy EarPods that came with every iPhone. They performed the duty but poorly. In 2022, Apple will be a formidable competitor in the audio technology industry. Apple’s AirPods and Beats headphones are among the industry’s most OK wireless earbuds and over-ear headphones, respectively. In 2014, Apple acquired the Beats audio technology brand, expanding its audio portfolio.

We’ve tested every pair of AirPods and Apple headphones released, including the AirPods Pro, our current top pick, and the AirPods Max, which is the best-sounding option if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Therefore, we compiled this list, noting their unique features and specifications, to assist you in identifying the most suitable option based on your needs, budget, and preferences.

Apple’s recently released AirPods Pro 2 are the latest true wireless earbuds from the company. They offer significant improvements over the AirPods Pro (2019) in terms of functionality and audio performance.

Our Top Picks

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What are the newest AirPods?

Technically, the most recent AirPods are the third-generation 2021 AirPods with enhanced functionality, which debuted in October last year. They have a modernized appearance, enhanced sound, and longer battery life. In November, Beats Fit Pro was released, sharing many of the same characteristics as AirPods Pro. While they are not technically AirPods, they have been referred to as “the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted.”

Note that a new version of the AirPods Pro with MagSafe compatibility was released alongside the third-generation AirPods. MagSafe compatibility is the only distinction between the “old” and “new” versions of AirPods Pro.

Should I purchase AirPods from Apple?

If you can avoid it, do not: Other online retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, typically offer lower prices for the various AirPods models. Amazon typically matches the lowest price offered by competitors. In general, we would only purchase AirPods from the Apple Store if we desired engraving, which is not available anywhere else. Consequently, if you visit an Apple Store for Apple deals, you should inquire about price matching. Although Apple does not appear to have an official policy, it will match prices by up to 10%. For example, this would be a $25 discount on the $249 AirPods Pro. That’s not much, but it’s worth asking if you can receive a 10% discount.

How to select the most suitable AirPods for you

First things first – are AirPods your absolute best headphones? The answer is likely no if you do not own an iOS device. Yes, Apple’s AirPods are compatible with other devices, but you should have at least one foot in Apple’s ecosystem for optimal performance.

Next, you must choose between on-ear and in-ear designs. AirPods Max, Apple’s premium and expensive wireless headphones, are the only option for the former. You can choose between the standard AirPods (third-generation or second-generation models) and the AirPods Pro.

What difference exists between the two? AirPods Pro features active noise cancellation, whereas AirPods do not.

Then there is the issue of the budget. The AirPods Max is more expensive than Sony, Bose, and Bowers & Wilkins’ most expensive noise-canceling headphones. The AirPods Pro is the next most costly pair, followed by the third-generation AirPods and the second-generation AirPods.

Now let’s examine each of these in greater detail to determine which is best for you.

7 Best Airpods 2022 Reviews

Whether you’re looking for earbuds for running, on-ear headphones, or wireless headphones, Apple has something to meet your audio requirements. Check out our top picks listed below. We’ve also included our price comparison tool to identify the best or most affordable price quickly.

1. The best AirPods overall: Apple AirPods Pro 2

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The highly-anticipated Apple AirPods Pro 2 took the top spot in our guide to the best AirPods because they’re a significant upgrade over the original AirPods Pro, offering excellent audio performance and remarkable ANC in a compact, wireless, and still very AirPods-like design.

When they debuted, the Apple AirPods Pro caused a stir by incorporating noise cancellation and improved audio into the AirPods design. The Pro 2 now provides an outstanding audio experience thanks to new drivers and amplifiers. During our testing, we found the ANC remarkably effective, effectively blocking almost all external noise.

Additionally, battery life has been significantly improved over the originals. It is suitable for all-day listening with a battery life of 6 hours per earbud and 30 hours per charging case. Additionally, the case has been updated with an IPX4 water resistance rating for light showers and sweat and a built-in speaker for locating the device if it is misplaced.

If you already own a pair of AirPods Pro earbuds, you may not be able to justify an upgrade, although there have been some modifications. However, if you’re looking for the best Apple offers, the AirPods Pro 2 is the best option, competing with the likes of Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony.

Key Features

  • Active Noise Cancellation reduces unwanted background noise
  • Adaptive Transparency lets outside sounds in while reducing loud environmental noise
  • Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you
  • Multiple ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
  • Touch control lets you swipe to adjust volume, press to direct media playback, answer or end calls, and press and hold to switch between listening modes
  • Sweat and water resistant for AirPods Pro and charging case
  • MagSafe Charging Case with speaker and lanyard loop
  • Up to 6 hours of listening time with Active Noise Cancellation on
  • Up to 30 hours of total listening time with the MagSafe Charging Case and Active Noise Cancellation on
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
PROS
  • Incredible active noise cancellation
  • Apple's best in-ear sound quality
  • New easier-to-find case
CONS
  • Some may not want in-ear fit
  • Apple's most expensive earbuds

2. Great-value AirPods: Apple AirPods Pro

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Suppose you’re an iPhone user looking for well-fitting earbuds with excellent sound quality and noise cancellation. In that case, the original AirPods Pro is still a viable option if you can find them at a discounted price while supplies last. We believe they are still a good value if you can find them for $160/£160 or less.

The in-ear design makes them far less likely to fall out than other AirPods models. The additional microphones provide strong noise-canceling (especially when commuting) and a helpful Transparency mode that genuinely lets the outside world in.

The audio quality of the AirPods Pro is also superior to that of the AirPods 3rd Generation. There is a notable emphasis on vocals and bass, so these earbuds are better suited for pop music fans than those who prefer a more natural presentation suitable for classical music or orchestral sounds.

Key Features
  • Active noise cancellation for immersive sound
  • Transparency mode for hearing and connecting with the world around you
  • Three sizes of soft, tapered silicone tips for a customizable fit
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to the shape of your ear
  • Easy setup for all your Apple devices
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
  • The Wireless Charging Case delivers more than 24 hours of battery life
PROS
  • Good noise cancellation
  • Better fit than AirPods (2019)
CONS
  • More expensive than better rivals
  • USB-C charging cable in box

3. Best AirPods for sound quality: Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

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The Apple AirPods Max was among the most anticipated headphones of all time. There have been years of rumors and conjecture regarding their appearance and voice. Do they live up to the hype now that they have arrived? Well, it depends.

As expected, when we finally got our hands on the AirPod Max, we discovered that the audio quality was exceptional. Additionally, the design and construction were sturdy and unmistakably Apple, and they were also comfortable. Additionally, we appreciate the use of physical controls as opposed to the swipe controls that seem to be favored by most wireless headphones today.

The reintroduction of the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown, which allows precise volume adjustment and easy control of music playback, was a welcome addition. In addition, they have outstanding quality of life features for Apple ecosystem devotees.

However, it’s not all good news. The price is the most evident drawback. Apple has always produced luxury technology with an above-average price tag, but these devices cost $549 / £549 / AU$899. In our review, we concluded that the performance (although excellent) did not justify the exorbitant price, and we can understand why many consumers would prefer to purchase more affordable headphones instead.

In addition, they include a carrying case that protects the battery while the headphones are in use. This seems plausible in theory. However, it provides no protection. Instead, the Smart Case exposes the entire headband of the AirPods Max.

Key Features
  • Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music
  • Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you
  • Computational audio combines custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences
  • Designed with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions for an exceptional fit
  • Magical experience with effortless setup, on-head detection, and seamless switching between devices
  • Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
  • 20 hours of listening, movie watching, or talk time with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled
  • Store in ultra low-power mode with the slim Smart Case
PROS
  • Unbelievable audio performance
  • Fantastic user experience
  • Brilliant extra features for iOS
  • Great noise cancellation
CONS
  • Very expensive compared to rivals
  • No 3.5mm audio port
  • Limited features for Android
  • Ineffective carrying case

4. A huge improvement on the AirPods 2: Apple AirPods 3

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In terms of audio quality, connectivity, and design, the third-generation Apple AirPods significantly improved over their predecessors. Features such as Spatial Audio support and Adaptive EQ distinguish these earbuds from the competition, and a new, more subtle design incorporates force capacitive sensors into the truly wireless earbuds.

The AirPods 3 are, as expected, optimized for use within the Apple ecosystem, so Android users miss out on a number of the features that distinguish them from other truly wireless earbuds on the market. In addition, the absence of noise cancellation means that they are not the highest-quality earbuds at this price.

Key Features
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking places sound all around you
  • Adaptive EQ automatically tunes music to your ears
  • All-new contoured design
  • Force sensor lets you easily control your entertainment, answer or end calls, and more
  • Sweat and water resistant
  • Up to 6 hours of listening time with one charge
  • Up to 30 hours total listening time with the MagSafe Charging Case
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “Hey Siri”
  • Effortless setup, in-ear detection, and automatic switching for a magical experience
  • Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
PROS
  • Impressive spatial audio
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • No active noise cancellation
  • No interchangeable eartips

5. Most popular AirPods: Apple AirPods 2

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The AirPods 2 may have been superseded by the AirPods 3, but they still have some cool features that may make them worth purchasing for iPhone users. They have also received a permanent price reduction, making them the least expensive AirPods.

A lively soundstage and the inclusion of Apple’s H1 headphone chip make the AirPods 2 an excellent pair of earbuds for casual music listening and phone calls; however, audiophiles should look elsewhere. The AirPods (2019) also include an optional wireless charging case, which allows you to use a Qi-compatible charging mat to power the issue instead of inserting a Lightning charging cable into the port on the bottom of the case.

Key Features
  • Quick access to Siri by saying “ Hey Siri ”
  • More than 24 hours total listening time with the Charging Case
  • Effortless setup, in-ear detection, and automatic switching for a magical experience
  • Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
PROS
  • Faster pairing
  • Wireless charging
CONS
  • Wireless charging case costs extra
  • Audio hasn't improved since originals

6. Apple’s most expensive AirPods: Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

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Apple may have arrived late to the party for over-ear headphones, but it did so with a bang. The AirPods Max are so well-designed that they make flagship models from industry giants like Sony and Bose appear cheap.

And the sound quality is commensurate with the design. They are so talented sonically that they transcend wireless headphones to wireless hi-fi. The sound is expansive and incredibly crisp, with energy and clarity rarely heard in wireless headphones. Combined with the wide soundstage, the precision makes you feel like you are in the room with the musicians.

A combination of spatial audio and dynamic head-tracking anchors sounds to the screen so that when you turn your head, it sounds like the audio is still coming from the television.

Add superior noise cancellation to the mix, and you have an exceptional pair of headphones. Remember to use them with an Apple device to maximize their functionality.

Key Features

  •  Apple-designed dynamic driver provides high-fidelity audio
  • Active Noise Cancellation blocks outside noise, so you can immerse yourself in music
  • Transparency mode for hearing and interacting with the world around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking provides theater-like sound that surrounds you
  • Computational audio combines custom acoustic design with the Apple H1 chip and software for breakthrough listening experiences
  • Designed with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions for an exceptional fit
  • Magical experience with effortless setup, on-head detection, and seamless switching between devices
  • Easily share audio between two sets of AirPods on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV
  • 20 hours of listening, movie watching, or talk time with Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio enabled
  • Store in ultra low-power mode with the slim Smart Case
PROS
  • Superb audio and noise-canceling
  • Cinematic spatial audio
  • Exceptional build quality
CONS
  • Near-pointless case
  • Audio cable not included
  • Practically Apple-only

Best AirPods Buying Guide: How to Pick the Right Pair

  • Noise Canceling: If you’re primarily interested in a pair of AirPods with a noise-canceling mode, you’ll need to purchase the AirPods Pro or the AirPods Max. There are currently no other AirPods with noise cancellation capabilities.
  • Sound: In our experience, every pair of Apple AirPods offers crystal-clear sound even after months of use. Nevertheless, the “sealed” fit of the AirPods Pro results in better bass. According to the manufacturer, newer AirPods also feature Adaptive EQ, which adjusts the sound to the shape of your ear.
  • Fit: Newer AirPods fit significantly better than the original AirPods, particularly if you have smaller ears. The AirPods Pro, for instance, comes with three silicone ear tips so that you can find the perfect fit for your ears. Apple employs an ear tip fit test for the AirPods Pro, allowing you to determine which ear tip provides the best sound. AirPods Max has an adjustable, comfortable over-ear fit that completely envelops the outer ear.
  • Battery Life: While all AirPods have respectable battery life, this category is won by the AirPods Max, which can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. The newer AirPods 3rd Gen is the clear winner in the earbud category, boasting approximately six hours of battery life on a single charge. In contrast, the AirPods Pro holds about 4.5 hours of charge.
  • Sweat Resistance: The AirPods Pro and AirPods 3rd Generation have an IPX4 rating, which means they can be worn while exercising without causing damage to the components. The AirPods 3rd Generation goes one step further by incorporating a sweat-resistant case, so your wireless charging case can withstand a few light splashes while you work out.
  • Voice Assistance: Every pair of AirPods is compatible with Siri, so you can say “Hey Siri” to access your notifications, make a phone call, send a text message, and more.

 

FAQs

The Apple AirPods 2019 cost $129, while the AirPods 3 cost $179, £169, and AU$279.

AirPods Pro is more expensive at $249 / £249 / AU$399, while AirPods Max is the priciest at $549 / £549 / AU$89. Please read our guide to the best AirPods deals for the latest price reductions on all models (though not by much).

It depends on your needs; if you want headphones that pair effortlessly with your iPhone, you can’t go wrong with Apple or Beats.

But if you’re looking for pure audio fidelity, Sony and Bose are better options, although the AirPods Max sounds quite good.

Because Apple AirPods are more expensive than many of their competitors, the cost is also essential. Although we believe that most AirPods are a great value, you can find headphones with comparable audio quality, designs, and comfort for much less money.

If you know you want to purchase Apple AirPods but are having trouble deciding between AirPods models, our comparison of Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro should help.

Yes. The Powerbeats Pro is the best Apple headphones for working out due to their ear hook design and sweat proof IPX4 rating. Other models, such as the AirPods Pro, are rated IPX4, but their design makes them more likely to fall out during vigorous exercise.

Can AirPods pair with Android devices?

Indeed they can. You may find that they pair marginally more slowly than with an iPhone, but the difference is negligible. However, if you use AirPods with an Android, you won’t have access to features such as auto-pause and customizable noise cancellation. This is something to consider if you have an Android phone and are about to purchase a pair of AirPods.

Read what non-iPhone users need about the Apple earbuds guide for detailed information on how AirPods work with Android phones and step-by-step instructions.

After the announcement of the Apple AirPods 3, what is next for Apple headphones?

We anticipate the release of AirPods Pro 2 this year. Ming-Chi Kuo, an industry analyst, has speculated that a new AirPods Pro model will be released in 2022, which multiple sources have corroborated.

They will be an entry-level version of the noise-canceling AirPods Pro, suggesting that the rumored wireless earbuds may be less expensive than the current priciest Apple earbuds.

We would also love to see an updated version of Apple’s long-awaited over-ear headphones, the AirPods Max 2. At the time of writing, however, there is no solid confirmation that they will be arriving soon.

If new AirPods models are to be announced soon, we may see them at March 8, 2022, Apple event, which is rumored to be taking place. There are rumors that the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 will appear.

The main difference between the AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro continues to be active noise cancellation, which remains exclusive to the pricier model. But the new AirPods still offer significantly better audio with improved bass compared with Apple’s long-stemmed second-generation AirPods.

The AirPods 3 take advantage of new battery technology to improve on this. They offer 30 hours playback (six from the buds; 24 from the case) but, of course, no noise-canceling.

The short answer is no when discussing spatial audio with head tracking for movie and television viewing. While the AirPods Max provides the best sound quality overall, the spatial audio virtual sound feature is virtually identical across all AirPods that support it.

Conclusion

In 2022, the Apple Airpods pro is still a solid option, but I would only recommend them to iOS users. This is not due to Apple-specific features; Android compatibility would be welcome; instead, its closed design makes it more susceptible to rain and sweat than other wireless earbuds.

However, while they are not waterproof, they do not fall out as quickly as other earbuds; you should be able to run or perform any other activity without worrying about falling out.

These are excellent options if you want a pair of truly wireless earbuds that are durable and dependable. Avoid wearing them in areas with high humidity or extreme temperatures, but other than that, they should last at least two years.

While other earbuds may offer better audio quality or even more features, including noise cancellation, Apple’s Airpods pro is more comfortable and reliable. Although they lack some additional features, they are durable and straightforward.

In contrast to other brand earbuds on the market, you can always expect them to be compatible with your iPhone or iPad device from day one.

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The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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