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Prices and links are current as of 9/16/2020. Added Walmart’s $50 discount on the AirPods Pro. Updated by Steven Cohen.
AirPods with Charging Case
The original and standard AirPods with Charging Case are the base and cheapest AirPods you can buy. You get the regular AirPods wireless earbuds and a charging case that charges via a Lightning cable, the same cable you use to charge your iPhone.
The AirPods have a five-hour battery life, and the case stores 24 hours of battery charge. A quick 15-minute charge in the case gives them an extra three hours of listening time. These are not sweat or water resistant — you’ll have to check out the AirPods Pro below if that’s important to you. You can read the full AirPods review here.
AirPods with Wireless Charging Case
The AirPods with Wireless Charging Case are identical to the 2nd-gen AirPods with Charging Case, except the charging case can be charged wirelessly as well as via a Lightning cable. That means you can charge the wireless charging case on a wireless charging pad that uses the Qi wireless charging standard. Thankfully, that means you can charge the AirPods’ wireless charging case on pretty much any wireless charging pad, including the pad you already use for your iPhone, if you already use one. You can read the full AirPods with Wireless Charging Case review here.
The AirPods Pro are Apple’s highest-end AirPods, and they’re the most expensive. They have a shorter stem than the original AirPods design, and they have an in-ear design that fits more securely in more ears using tips of three different sizes — if you’ve ever had difficulty keeping Apple’s earbuds in your ear, these are the solution. The wireless charging case is also wider than the non-pro charging cases.
Despite their smaller size, they come with active noise cancellation, and they sound a little better than the regular non-pro AirPods. Battery life with noise cancellation enabled isn’t as long as the regular AirPods, but it’s still pretty good (4.5 hours versus 5 hours). If the AirPods Pro run out of battery, a quick 15-minute charge in the case gives you an extra three hours of listening time. The AirPods Pro come with a wireless charging case that holds a 24-hour total charge for the AirPods.
The AirPods Pro are also sweat and water resistant, whereas the regular non-pro AirPods are not. You can read the full AirPods Pro review here.
Beats Solo Pro
The Apple-owned Beats Solo Pro are the company’s premium over-the-ears wireless noise cancelling headphones, like the Bose 700 and the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise cancelling headphones. The Beats Solo Pro are built with Apple’s ecosystem in mind with Apple’s H1 chip, which instantly pairs with your compatible iPhone or other device if it’s nearby as soon as you unfold the ear cups. We loved the sound they delivered during our review, but we also found that they can clamp onto heads, giving an overly tight feeling. Check out the full Beats Solo Pro review here.
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