Although wireless earphones, such as the AirPods, are cool, they may not be suitable for every type of listener
Since purchasing my AirPods Pro over two years ago, I’ve been curious to see how they stack up against an old pair of corded EarPods that I found in an old iPhone box.
As a wireless earbuds user, I was previously aware of some of the drawbacks with wireless earphones compared to corded ones. I’ll go through these in more detail below, along with the results I got from alternating between the two pairs for a week.
In my opinion, the AirPods Pro are better than the regular AirPods. However, the difference between wired and wireless earphones isn’t as significant as you might expect, so you might want to reevaluate whether it’s worth it to spend the extra money on wireless earbuds or not.
EarPods vs. AirPods: Cost and Design Comparison
To begin, the two pairs of earbuds are markedly different in price. The list price of an AirPods Pro is $249/£239, however you can often get them for less than $200/£200 on sale. It’s a stark contrast to the $19/£20 EarPods, which come with two different tips: Lightning or 3.5mm. Apple included a pair of EarPods with every iPhone sold previous to the iPhone 12 and I’m sure you did, too.
The AirPods Pro have gel tips, unlike the open-fit earbuds of the AirPods 2. If I’m going to be wearing earbuds for an extended period of time, these are by far the most comfy for me. However, I know many people who disagree. In spite of the improved open-fit design, I think I’d still prefer the gel tips on the AirPods 3.
Unsurprisingly, the fundamental design difference is the usage or absence of wires. A simple connector makes it far easier to remove and use the EarPods than the cord, which might become tangled in your pocket or snag on your hands, door handles, or other awkward objects. There’s no need to sit around and wait for Bluetooth to wake up.
In terms of features, AirPods versus EarPods are a close match.
Aside from the inexpensive price, the best feature of the EarPods was the microphone/remote combination cord. It’s easy to see why the AirPods Pro’s Bluetooth couldn’t carry as much data as a physical cable can, but the EarPods’ audio quality is far superior to that of the latter.
That has volume and play/pause controls attached to it. Moving through a playlist with your AirPods is as simple as tapping and holding the stems. However, I was surprised to how much I missed the tap motion while switching to the EarPods.
In addition, unlike with AirPods, you won’t have to worry about your headphones running out of battery life. EarPods don’t need to be recharged, so you don’t have to think about whether you can leave your charging case at home today.
In the future, you won’t have to worry about the EarPods being rendered worthless by a degraded battery. The AirPods’ batteries and charging case will eventually die, whereas the EarPods’ cords and connectors can theoretically last indefinitely if properly cared for.
Although wireless is more convenient, it also requires a carry case to charge, which makes them more prone to misbehavior when left in a pocket or bag. Active noise cancellation is one of the features I most missed about the Apple EarPods when I switched to powered earphones. Without the AirPods Pro’s Noise Cancellation (ANC), my bus rides to and from work were a lot more noisy, and even listening to music at home was ruined because it was impossible not to hear traffic noises or my fan whirling through the EarPods.
Interestingly, since Apple has been gradually removing the headphone jack from its products and more recently starting moving away from the Lightning port, it’s now easier to utilize wireless earbuds. Only the iPhone and the basic iPad have this feature, and the headphone jack is only available on the MacBook or the same basic iPad. If you don’t have a dongle, you won’t be able to charge your smartphone or connect other peripherals because you’ll need to put in your EarPods to whichever port you have available. Single-port iPhones and even the greatest iPads are a real hassle to use because of this.
earphones vs. earbuds
It’s time to talk about the most significant aspect of the product, which is the audio quality: The AirPods vs. EarPods matchup was quite tight, but I think the EarPods take home the gold medal in this round.
When using wired earbuds to listen to The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” on Tidal, the mids, which include the guitars and vocals, were more distinct. The bass and percussion didn’t sound much different between the two pairs of ‘Pods, but the mids and highs sounded considerably better with the EarPods.
With noise canceling built into the AirPods Pro, this all changes. The ANC ensures that the most important elements of the music be heard above the surrounding noise.
As a last music-related perk, Apple’s Spatial Audio head-tracking surround sound function is available in the new AirPods Pros. In my opinion, it’s a little confusing, but it’s a feature that you can’t utilize with the EarPods.
Which is better, AirPods or EarPods?
Most people make the mistake of picking a “default” option just because they’ve heard the product is nice, rather than the greatest alternative for their specific needs. As with any other set of wireless headphones that Apple has ever made (including the AirPods), the AirPods Pro or any other AirPods have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re on a tight tech budget or already own a pair of EarPods, I’d think twice about making the switch to wireless earbuds.
Cheap wired earbuds have a number of advantages over a device that costs ten times as much, including a better quality microphone, in-line volume controls, no battery difficulties, and perhaps superior overall audio quality. I’d miss the ease of no cords and noise cancelation if I were to rely entirely on EarPods. Gel tips are also missing, however other corded earbuds come with them if you’re not set on the Apple product.
However, just because AirPods have grown so popular, you shouldn’t feel compelled to give up your EarPods or other wired headphones. Before making a purchase, take some time to consider your requirements. It’s possible that you’ll be able to save money and still enjoy your music, podcasts, or whatever else by using your older wired earbuds instead of purchasing new ones.