So you can’t decide whether to buy the AirPods for $149 or the AirPods Pro for $249 and now you’re here. Well, good news! We’ve tested both kinds of AirPods and have some thoughts on the matter. Let’s dive into this.
When buying AirPods the most important aspect to consider is the fit in your ears (not the sound or design or anything else). As I wrote about in the past, the original AirPods are a great pair of wireless earphones for everyone who’s ears they actually fit in. I mean, if the AirPods don’t fit in your ears, despite them being a super cool Apple product, you won’t end up ever using them. Trust me. I’m living proof. I’ve recommended in the past going to the Apple store and asking to test drive a pair of AirPods. The employees will fetch a pair, sanitize them, and let you walk around the store wearing them, they’ll even connect them to your iPhone so you can listen to whatever music or podcast you want too. This still stands as the best possible advice I can give if you’re on the fence.
How to test if AirPods fit in your ears
Here’s what you need to look for during your test drive. During your test drive at the store, you will definitely want to walk at different speeds to ensure they stay in. If one (or both) of the AirPods feels at all like it may be falling out of your ear–it is or will be soon. For me, it’s a bit whacky but, with regular AirPods the right AirPod never stays in my ear and with AirPods Pro the left AirPod can feel a little loose sometimes. Frankly, it’s the most annoying feeling to constantly feel the need to adjust your AirPods in your ears–if they don’t fit your ear, don’t buy them. You will lose them and/or regret your purchase.
AirPods vs AirPods Pro
While I’ve had literally zero success with keeping regular AirPods in my ears, I have had a better experience with AirPods Pro. Is it perfect? No, but it’s better. That’s thanks in large part to the silicone ear tips on the Pros. Apple provides three different types of tips, small, medium, and large. The medium tips seem to work best for me and it’s also what the AirPods Pro ship with on by default. Apple even has a tool built-in to the Bluetooth settings on iOS to test each AirPod Pro to ensure you’re using the right tip. Of course in my tests the tool concluded I had the right fit for my right ear but not my left ear. I tried all three sets of tips and none of them produced a “good fit” in left ear according to Apple. Go figure.
Despite my difficulties and apparently abnormal ears (am I alone here? Leave a comment if you can’t use AirPods at all), if you’re planning to buy a pair of AirPods, I’d say go with the Pros. They sound slightly better and the tips definitely make a difference. Plus, they have very impressive active noise cancelling technology built-in.
It’s also worth noting that if you have $299 to spend ($50 more than the AirPods Pro), you may also want to consider the Master & Dynamic MW07 earphones–which I love, fit my ears very well, and still use to this day.