Apple Airpods in their cases

AirPods versus AirPods Pro

Apple has been a much beloved brand since its establishment in 1977. It revolutionised the mobile industry, offering products consumers didn’t even know they wanted. Its global success has launched a number of phones and accessories. In this article, we review and compare their wireless earphones - the AirPods and AirPods Pro

History of Airpods

If you’ve been an Apple fan from the start, there’s no way you missed their 2016 AirPods announcement. This was Apple’s answer to Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones, and of course they were met with both praise and ridicule

The original AirPods became the certified ‘first generation’, as three years later in March 2019, Apple released the ‘second generation’. Not even a year later, the AirPods Pro were released in October 2019, forming the trio of Apple wireless earphones on the market today. 

There are multiple differences between each version of AirPods; let’s take a look at what separates them so you can pick the best one for you. 



Apple has a signature aesthetic that it doesn’t tend to stray from. Its phones are predictably sleek, with the circular home button and soft edges being a staple of the brand. 

Like its wired earphones, the wireless version uses the same shape that Apple is known for. The plastic, canal-shaped earphones are a one-size only feature of the first and second generation. 

If you don’t find those comfortable, or they just don’t fit properly in your ears, the AirPods Pro feature silicone cushions that cup the end of the earphone, which makes for a softer fit and more customisable than the standard version. 

Both versions can have engravings on the case for a personalised touch.



As expected, the newer the model, the more expensive it is. 

The AirPods range in price from £130 - £160, depending on the retailer you purchase from. Sometimes companies like Amazon and John Lewis offer Apple products a few pounds below its retail price, so if you are comfortable ordering from non-Apple websites, this could be a great way of saving money. 

The AirPods Pro can be picked up between £200 - £250, (again) depending on the retailer. Although they retail for almost £100 more, the Pro dooffer a few extra features which you might deem worth it. 


Wireless Connection and Processor

All models are 100% wireless, removing the need for plugs and headjacks. However, with Bluetooth, delays and interruptions can sometimes occur. Each version of the AirPods has a processor which functions with the rest of the headphone to supply a faster connection. 


Processor Chip


AirPods [1st gen]


Simple, standard connection

AirPods [2nd gen]


2x faster when switching between devices


1.5x faster connection time for phone calls 


30% lower gaming latency

AirPods Pro


Controls listening levels for noise cancellation


Low audio processing latency due to employment of 10 audio cores


The H1 chip also allows Siri to be activated, so you can use your earphones to correspond with your AI voice, rather than your phone. 

In terms of wireless connection, they have been known to pair very easily to any Apple device. Their processor chips increase the speed of any Bluetooth connection, and customers are typically pleased with the efficiency of the pairing. 


Sound Quality

The original AirPods attribute their high-quality sound to the speed of their processor. 

The speech-detecting accelerometer filters out external sound when you are on a phone call so your voice is clear and not muffled. 

The flagship feature of the AirPods Pro is their noise cancelling ability, which allows you to pick between transparency mode to hear the environment around you, and noise cancelling to fully immerse yourself in the music. 

The Pro earphones are able to achieve this noise cancelling technology through a variety of design features: the cushion fit around the earphone blocks out external noise, an outward microphone detects external sound and counters it with anti-noise technology, and Adaptive EQ is used to tune music to the shape of your ear. 

The high-excursion, low-distortion speaker driver installed inside its hardware also allows for high quality music playing, with deep bass and clear sound.


Playback Features

To enhance the audio experience, the AirPods have multiple playback features. They have optical sensors, which assist in controlling your audio experience by pausing music when the earphone is taken out, accessing the microphone when a phone call comes through, and playing sound as soon as they are in your ears. 

The AirPods Pro also allows the user to pause, play, rewind, and skip music just with taps. This ensures an easier user experience, so you don’t have to keep adjusting in order to answer calls or alter the volume. 



A lot of Apple reviews praise the longevity of their battery life. Both the AirPods and AirPods Pro deliver high-performing batteries with decent listening time on just one charge. 


Listening Time (on one charge)

Battery Life (charging case)

AirPods (1st and 2nd)

Up to 5 hours of listening time before needing to be plugged back into the case to recharge 


Up to 3 hours of talk time 

More than 24 hours of battery life you can use to charge your earphones, before needing to recharge the case itself 


(15 minutes of charging = 3 hours of listening time / 2 hours of talk time)

AirPods Pro

Up to 4.5 hours (slightly less due to the extra noise-cancelling features)

More than 24 hours (15 minutes of charging = 3 hour of listening time)


AirPods 2nd Generation

The earphones come with a wireless charging case, which can be placed on a Qi certified charging mat. Or, if you’d prefer to charge it with a wire, you can use a Lightning port and plug it into the mains. 


AirPods Pro

These are wirelessly charged, and come with the case included. You will have to buy a wireless charger or you can charge them with a Lightning port. 



The first and second generation of AirPods don’t have too many differences, other than a slightly faster processor chip. With the release of the AirPods Pro and rumours of new AirPods possibly making an appearance in 2021, the first generation has vanished slightly as Apple themselves have stopped selling them. They are only available through external retailers. 

If you’re looking for noise cancelling earphones, then the upgraded Pro might be the ones for you. Otherwise, if you’re not too bothered by external sound, or simply don’t want to pay as much money, the AirPods are still a reliable option for good sound and versatile features. 


Interested in other Apple products? We have an entire guide dedicated to finding the best iPhone for you. Or, if you just want to know more about Apple's newest release, check out everything about the iPhone 12s.

Go Pay As You Go

The easy way to get more from your mobile

Mobile phone illustration

Say hello to handsets

No commitment, no limits
No commitment, no limits

With no commitment you have the freedom to flex your usage whenever you need to.

Powered by Vodafone
Powered by Vodafone

Powered by Vodafone with up to 99% UK population coverage.

Cap your spend
Cap your spend

Put a limit on how much you spend every month so you don't need to worry about getting a big bill.

Never had a problem with Asda mobile. Always efficient service. Customer service is always friendly and helpful.


Solid service, good price. I work abroad but keep my UK number and buy a bundle when I'm back in the country.


I love ASDA mobile for me it's great and I love having my phone on the ASDA mobile network also good bundles without any contract commitments


I have been with Asda mobile for some years now. I personally believe their service and value for money the best I've come across. I can honestly say that Asda mobile is the best out there.


Asda Stores Limited (registered address: Great Wilson Street, Leeds, LS11 5AD) trading as Asda Money, acts as a credit broker not a lender, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Asda Stores Limited only offers finance from a restricted range of finance providers. Finance provided by PayPal Credit. Terms and conditions apply. Credit subject to status, UK residents only. ASDA Stores Limited acts as a broker and offers finance from a restricted range of finance providers. PayPal Credit is a trading name of PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A. 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449 Luxembourg.