Best Apple Headphones

Your iPhone earphones broke, would you like to replace them with a new pair of Apple earphones or headphones but you don’t know which one to choose? Don’t worry, if you want I can help you find the product that best suits your needs.

Fortunately, there is no lack of freedom of choice. Apple produces several headphones under its own brand and, thanks to the acquisition of Beats , a well-known manufacturer of headphones, earphones and speakers founded by record manager Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre, it also has a wide range of headphones suitable for every need. In short: you just have to choose the type of product that best suits your needs and identify the model to buy.

How do you say? Not sure how to choose the type of earphones or headphones that is best for you? No problem. Give me five minutes of your time and I’ll try to show you all the features, functions and technical specifications you need to look at before buying a new pair of headphones or earphones from Apple or Beats (or even those from other brands, the directions apply to any type of headphones or earphones). I am convinced that eventually you will be able to find a great alternative to the Apple earphones that have broken!

How to choose Apple headphones

Before you buy a pair of Apple earphones or headphones , you need to consider various features, including the format and type of connection (i.e. wireless or wired). Here’s everything in detail.

Headphones or earphones

Apple headphones

The first choice you have to make is between headphones and earphones , which is purely subjective and depends solely on your needs.

Headphones, as you can easily guess, allow you to better isolate yourself from the external environment, generally ensuring a richer and more enveloping sound than earphones but are also much more bulky. For example, they are not suitable for sports and can be very uncomfortable to carry in a backpack or bag.

The earphones are extremely portable, weigh very little and are ideal for sports activities. On the other hand, they ensure a degree of insulation lower than that guaranteed by headphones and are much easier to remove from the ears.


Apple headphones

After choosing between headphones and earphones, you need to choose the type of headphone or headset to buy. Because they can have different formats.

The earphones, in general, can be earbuds or in- ear . The difference between the two is that the earbuds “rest” in the ears without completely entering the ear canal, while the in-ears enter directly into the ear canal. As easily understood, in-ear headphones provide a greater degree of isolation than earbuds, they are generally more stable in the ear, but they are not suitable for everyone, not everyone likes to wear them. Apple, then, offers hybrid solutions halfway between the two formats: these are earbuds with a particular shape that promise to give stability and a degree of isolation comparable to those of in-ear headphones. I’ll tell you about it shortly.

As for headphones, the most important distinction to make is between the on-ear (supraural) format and the around-ear (circumaural) format . The on-ear headphones simply rest on the ear cups, while the over-ear headphones completely envelop the ear in their pavilions. The former are lighter and more compact, the latter ensure a greater degree of insulation and, generally speaking, are more comfortable to wear for long periods.

Wired or wireless

Apple headphones

Another very important distinction to make, which concerns both headphones and earphones, is that relating to the presence of wires.

Wireless headphones and earphones are often more comfortable due to their lack of cables, but they are also easier to lose (I mean more headphones in this case), they can suffer from problems related to interference on the Bluetooth network (which they use to communicate with smartphones, computers and other devices) and, above all, they must be recharged from time to time because they are battery powered. If you decide to buy wireless headphones, check their degree of autonomy and their charging times.

The latest Apple earphones and headphones can be equipped with a chip. The first generation one is called Apple W1 : it is a component that allows you to instantly pair the headphones to your iPhone and find it paired with all Apple devices connected to the same Apple ID: iPad, Mac etc. To take advantage of the functionality of the W1 chip, you need a Phone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 10 or later, an Apple Watch with watchOS 3 or later or a Mac with macOS 10.12 Sierra or later. The latest models of Apple headphones and earphones, such as the second generation AirPods, use the Apple H1 chip: the ability to call up the virtual assistant with the words “Hey, Siri” is added to the functionality of W1. In addition, the new chip helps to improve the autonomy of the earphones in conversation by about 50%, and offers a connection speed equal to twice the original chip. However, the differences in terms of performance are difficult to verify.

Another important thing to underline is that headphones and earphones equipped with W1 and H1 chips can also be paired with Android devices and any other non-Apple device following the classic Bluetooth pairing procedure.

Microphone, controls and adapters

As for microphone and controls : all Apple headphones and earphones are equipped with a microphone to answer calls and interact with Siri. The same can be said for the volume, music playback, calls and Siri controls, which are absent on the AirPods (Apple’s wireless earphones that only support double tap to invoke Siri or stop multimedia playback). In wired headphones, the controls are almost always on the cable; in the wireless ones they are almost always found on the pavilion.

If you have an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 7 Plus, if you want to use a pair of headphones or earphones with cable, remember to use a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter (as on newer iPhone models there is no jack for headphones), or purchase a pair of Apple Earphones with a Lightning connector.

Technical features

Apple headphones

Unfortunately, Apple (and consequently Beats) does not like to provide technical details on its headphones. This means that in the official product sheets you will hardly find values ​​such as frequency response , impedance or sensitivity that normally allow you to judge the performance of a pair of headphones or earphones.

The frequency response indicates the frequency range covered by the headphones, it is measured in Hz and its amplitude determines the fidelity level of the sound reproduced by the headphones (knowing that the human ear can perceive frequencies ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz). Impedance is a value that measures the resistance exerted by the headphones on the audio signal, it is measured in volts / ampere (ohms) and when it is high it ensures high sound quality (albeit at a lower maximum volume). Finally, the sensitivity is the acoustic pressure expressed by the headphones in relation to the applied voltage, it is indicated in dB and when it is high it means that the headphones are able to offer a very high volume without distortion of the sound.

I hope I was clear, although sadly the definitions I have just given you will not serve you to judge Apple and Beats headphones. To find out how a pair of Apple earphones or headphones “sounds”, I’m sorry, but you can only rely on the reviews you find online (perhaps on Amazon or other stores where you can buy these products) or go to an electronics store and try the headphones yourself. Just wanting to force a general evaluation, we can say that the Apple branded earphones offer a balanced sound on all frequencies while the Beats headphones and earphones tend to privilege the bass, but it must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

As for the level of isolation from external noise , we have already said that in-ear headphones and over-ear headphones are the ones that perform best, but there are also headphones equipped with active noise reduction technology that are at a higher level as they act in an active way on the noises to be eliminated. Headphones equipped with active noise reduction technology, even if they are wired (i.e. with cable), have a battery that is used to make active noise reduction work.

Best Apple Earphones

At this point, I’d say we can take action and see which are the best Apple (or Beats) earbuds and headphones that you can currently find in stores. Let’s start with the earphones.

Apple EarPods

Apple headphones

These are the classic Apple earphones, the ones found in the iPhone box. They have a “hybrid” shape halfway between the earbuds and the in-ear that ensure good comfort, a fair degree of isolation but do not enter directly into the ear canal. According to Apple, the EarPods are “compatible”, that is, they look good for 90% of people; in reality there are many users who complain of earphone stability problems and who, to solve the problem, have to resort to external pads and / or hooks (which can be purchased for a few euros on the Internet). EarPods include controls on the wire to adjust the volume, control media playback and interact with Siri; they have a built-in microphone and feature a standard 3.5mm socket. The sound is of good quality and balanced on all frequencies.

Note: if you decide to buy the EarPods on a store other than the official one from Apple (eg Amazon), pay attention to the sellers and the product description, there may be fake earphones passed off as Apple originals.

Apple EarPods with Lightning connector

Apple headphones

As you surely know, starting with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has removed the headphone jack from its smartphones. This means that to use headphones and earphones, you need to use wireless technology, a Lightning> 3.5mm jack adapter or earphones with Lightning connection, such as the Lightning version of the EarPods that you find in the iPhone package and you can buy online at a price slightly higher than that of the classic EarPods. Aside from the different attachment, the Lightning EarPods are identical to the standard ones.

Apple AirPods

Apple headphones

The AirPods are the first generation of Apple’s wireless earbudsand have a shape practically identical to that of the classic EarPods. Despite being overtaken by the second generation model, their lower retail price still makes them quite attractive today. Their most important feature is ease of use: thanks to the integrated Apple W1 chip, they can be instantly paired with all iPhone models from 5 onwards. Once paired, the earphones are then automatically associated with all the user’s Apple devices: iPad, Mac etc., as long as they are connected to the same Apple ID. Another simplification is that which concerns the switching on and off of the earphones: the AirPods are supplied with a case that also acts as a charging base. To turn them on, just take them out of the base and insert them into your ears; to turn them off, just remove them from your ears and put them back in the base. The autonomy is 5 hours per charge with the case that allows you to recharge them up to 4 times (for a total autonomy of about 1 day). They include a microphone that allows you to use them for calls (even in mono mode, wearing only one AirPod), while they don’t have buttons. They only have a sensor that allows you to invoke Siri by double “tap” on the outside of the earphones. To adjust volume, media playback, etc. you have to give voice commands to Siri. Although designed specifically for Apple devices, the AirPods also work with devices from other brands through the classic Bluetooth pairing. Compatibility with Apple devices is limited to Phones, iPads and iPod touches with iOS 10 or later,

Second generation Apple AirPods

Apple headphones

The second generation AirPodsthey are aesthetically identical to the previous model, and change for some characteristics. As I have already described in the introduction, the most important change is given by the presence of the new Apple H1 chip which allows to reduce energy consumption during conversations thanks to better management of flows and resources, to improve pairing performance ( of the double) and to activate Siri through the usual succession of the words “Hey, Siri”. The operation is identical: the pairing takes place simply by bringing the case close to the iPhone and in doing so all the devices linked to the same account will work automatically with those earphones. Voice commands and compatibility with iOS and Android devices also remain unchanged (with limited functions, however).wireless charging case . The latter can be charged not only via cable, as was the case with the previous generation, but also by being placed on a charging base compatible with the Qi standard. The wireless charging case can also be purchased separately for 89 euros and can be used with all generations of AirPods, even the original one.

If for the variant with standard case the price is kept at 179 euros, for the earphones with the new one with wireless case it goes up to 229 euros. There are no differences in audio terms and even in terms of autonomy in music reproduction (5 hours). With conversations, on the other hand, 3 hours are reached compared to 2 hours for the first generation of AirPods. You can find more information on the new AirPods on the official Apple website.

Third generation Apple AirPods

Third generation AirPods

The third generation AirPodsthey are also equipped with the Apple H1 chip and compared to their predecessors have redesigned drivers that promise more full-bodied bass without distorting the quality of the voices. They also have support for spatial audio with dynamic head detection and a pressure sensor to adjust the sound performance according to how they are worn and to automatically stop playback when they are taken off. They are also resistant to sweat and water, so they can be used without problems during sports activities, and the case supports the MagSafe to take advantage of wireless charging easily with chargers equipped with the Apple magnetic system. As for autonomy, Apple guarantees up to 6 hours of operation with a single battery charge and up to 30 hours of listening with the case.

Apple AirPods Pro (1st generation)

The AirPods Pro are Apple’s top-of-the-line earphones and differ from the traditional model in supporting active noise cancellation. This technology, as also occurs on other models, is used to suppress all sounds coming from the surrounding environment to allow the listener to immerse themselves in the sound of music playback, or in the telephone conversation. To cancel ambient noises the new AirPods Prothey use two microphones for earphones: one facing outwards records the audio of the ambient sounds so that the electronics of the headphones can generate an opposite signal of equal amplitude; the other is instead turned inwards and detects the sounds that arrive inside the ear, also generating an opposite signal. The two signals are used to cancel – where possible – all traces of unwanted noises and sounds from the music reproduction, so that only the latter component reaches the ear. If you need to listen to what happens in the surrounding environment, the function can be used in the opposite way by pressing near the tip of one of the earphones. Apple AirPods Prothey also change in appearance, with a new format and in-ear tips of different sizes (supplied with three pairs) that adapt to the shape of the ear. An integrated SiP (System in Package) is used in conjunction with the H1 chip with 10-core audio to adaptively manage and equalize sound reproduction, and also to enable Siri functionality. The AirPods Pro are naturally sold with a case with integrated battery: the earphones guarantee a listening autonomy of 4.5 hours, while with the recharge of the case you can reach 24 hours. In addition, in 5 minutes of charging you can reach the listening time. As with traditional AirPods, the Pro model also has a simple and very fast pairing with iPhones and iPads (just bring them closer).Apple AirPods Pro also boast IPX4 certification and are therefore sweat resistant, weigh only 5.4 grams per earphone and come with a wireless charging case (on Qi standard). They take advantage of Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to your smartphone and, although they are optimized for iPhone, they can be connected to any device compatible with the latest versions of the Bluetooth protocol.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)

Apple has decided to renew its AirPods Pro and did so by presenting the second generation during the month of September 2022. They are earphones changed in everything except in the design that still remains the one seen with the first generation and above all with a pad to insert. in the auricle and again a fully touch stem that will give you the possibility to use the commands for the songs. As mentioned, they do not change aesthetically and therefore remain white in glossy polycarbonate with silicone pads which now have 4 sizes: XS, S, M and L for maximum ergonomics . Not only because the case also changes which, although still identical in size, allows for 30 hours of autonomy(6 hours instead of earphones with an increase of 1 and a half hours compared to before) and to be recharged with MagSafe or even wirelessly with the Apple Watch charger. Small double hole on the side that will allow you now to add a strap to never lose the earphones. As mentioned they do not change on an aesthetic level but I tell you that they change a lot at the hardware level. The reason? Soon said since the new second generation AirPods Pro have the latest generation H2 chipspecially created by Apple for these earphones. A step forward compared to the past because now the new Apple chip is even better able to work in concert with the drivers and an amplifier specially designed to have crystal clear highs but also rich and deep bass. There are clearly computational algorithms that act on noise cancellation which is now even more intelligent than in the past and generates a higher quality three-dimensional sound, also increasing autonomy. Know that Apple has also redesigned the inward-facing microphone that better recognizes your voice allowing you to have greater definition and making it as natural as possible. And then of course there’s the noise cancellation which Apple claims here is twice as effective as before. The microphones and the air intake in this case pick up unwanted incoming sounds even better and act to cancel them out before they reach the ear. And then there’s a new oneTransparency mode that allows you to become adaptive and this means that it works to attenuate exaggerated noises such as those of an ambulance siren or other. And if you wonder what Bluetooth technology the new AirPods Pro use, know that it is the latest version 5.3.


The urBeats3 are, in all likelihood, the wired earphones that offer the best value for money in the current Beats catalog. They have an in-ear design, are coated in metal and include both the microphone and the controls for multimedia playback and calls. Their sound, while rewarding the bass, is quite balanced. They come with four pairs of ear tips of different sizes and are available with either a Lightning connector or a 3.5mm jack.

Beats Flex

Now let’s move on to the Beats Flex : wireless in-ear headphones designed for use in everyday life. They have a fairly simple in-ear design and feature the Apple W1 chip for efficient management of all features and quick pariting. They also guarantee excellent autonomy: they last up to 12 hours for each full charge and have fast charging. Thanks to the W1 chip from Apple, they allow instant pairing with iPhone and other Apple devices and have a magnetic attachment that allows you to wear the earphones, when not in use, like a necklace. Obviously they have a microphone and controls for volume, multimedia playback, calls and Siri. They come with four pairs of ear tips in different sizes.


Apple headphones

The Powerbeats3 are great sports earphonesfeatured in the current Beats catalog. They are wireless in-ear with external headbands that keep them well attached to the ear. They have a long autonomy that allows you to use them up to 12 hours per charge and support the Fast Fuel technology that allows you to gain 1 hour of autonomy with a charge of just 5 minutes. They are equipped with Apple’s W1 chip which allows instant pairing to the iPhone (iPhone 5 or later with iOS 10 or above) and all the user’s Apple devices and are resistant to water and sweat. They include the microphone and controls (on the cable that connects the two earphones) that allow you to control the volume, music and invoke Siri. The sound is balanced and does not have an overemphasis on bass like other Beats headphones.

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless

Apple headphones

The Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless are true wireless earphones with adjustable ear supports designed for those who practice sports at different levels. They use a lightweight design designed specifically for maximum comfort and have multimedia controls on both earphones, pausing automatically, moreover, when one of the earphones is extracted from the ear. They have the new H1 chip, with all the advantages I have just described to you, and offer up to 9 hours of continuous listening. They are sold with a charging case that allows you to increase the autonomy to 24 hours and with 5 minutes of charging you can get up to 1 hour and a half of listening. Compared to the AirPods, moreover, they use the in-ear format.

Apple Earphone Accessories

As already mentioned, the EarPods and AirPods have a very particular shape that makes them perfect for some people and very uncomfortable for others. If you would like to use these earphones but they fall out of your ears, purchase some ear pads, sponges and / or hooks to increase the grip in your ear. The results you will be able to obtain, spending very few euros, will be surprising!

Note: if you have AirPods, using cushions or hooks you may lose the functionality of some of the sensors on the earphones (thus losing the automatic stop / play and the gestures on the outer side of the earphones). To avoid this risk, apply the pads and the hooks taking care not to cover the sensors or, in the case of sponges, make small holes in order to “free” the sensors.

Best Apple headphones

Now let’s move on to the headphones, which as mentioned above are all Beats branded as Apple does not produce its own brand headphones. I am convinced that you will be able to find at least one pair that suits you!

Apple AirPods Max

The Apple AirPods Maxthey are the ultimate in audio for Apple production. They are over-ear headphones that offer very high quality sound combined with the ease of use of the AirPods series earphones. Inside we have two 10-core Apple H1 chips, one for each pavilion, which allow you to process the sound with advanced computational algorithms, blocking external sounds, adapting the sound to the position and isolation of the pads, and modulating or equalizing audio based on the type of content (with movies and TV series, for example, the spatial audio mode is enabled). They support both noise cancellation and reverse mode, called Transparency, to let ambient sounds play through the built-in microphones (useful for example when you are on the street).AirPods Max use a stainless steel frame, a recognizable design headband made of breathable mesh fabric to reduce pressure on the head, while the earpads are finished in anodized aluminum. Finally, the cushions are in memory foam with external part in mesh fabric. Five colors available: space gray, silver, green, light blue and pink. The price goes hand in hand with the quality, so it’s stellar: 629 euros according to the Apple price list!

Beats EP

Apple headphones

If you are looking for Apple headphones with cable and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you could turn to the Beats EP. As you can also guess from the photo above, these are extremely light and comfortable on ear headphones equipped with a microphone, controls for volume, music, calls and Siri. The sound is good: it focuses a lot on the bass but does not excessively penalize the mids and highs. They have no battery, so they don’t need to be recharged.

Beats Solo3 Wireless

Apple headphones

As part of wireless headphones, if you do not have particular budget limits, I suggest you to consider the Beats Solo Wireless 3, which have a very long autonomy and the integration of the Apple W1 chip. They last up to 40 hours per charge and support the Fast Fuel system that allows you to get 3 hours of listening in just 5 minutes of charging. Thanks to the W1 chip, it is possible to pair with iPhones (iPhone 5 or later with iOS 10 or later) instantly and automatically synchronize with all the user’s Apple devices. They include a microphone and earpad controls that allow you to control volume, music, calls and invoke Siri. They are also compatible with non-Apple devices through the classic Bluetooth pairing procedure. They are in on-ear format and are available in eight different colors. The sound rewards the bass a lot but does not “kill” the rest of the frequencies.

Note: On Amazon, the price of these headphones varies from color to color. If you aim above all to save, “browse” all the colors available and find out which is the cheapest.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

Apple headphones

The Beats Studio3 are very high quality over-ear headphones, if you like the typical sound of Beats, working wirelessly and with support for active noise cancellation with Pure ANC technology. The autonomy is very high thanks to the large batteries present: the declared one is 22 hours with Pure ANC active and 40 hours if the functionality is deactivated. With Fast Fuel technology you get up to 3 hours of listening with 5 minutes of charging. Inside they have the Apple W1 chip that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of fast connectivity with iPhones and Apple devices. They support Bluetooth Class 1 for maximum energy efficiency.

Beats Solo Pro

The Beats Solo Pro ensure a balanced and clear sound on all frequencies combined with a great comfort of use. The earpads are padded with excellent insulation from external noise and can be rotated for easy transport. The design is supra-aural. They use the most advanced Apple H1 chipset for pairing management and smart features and also feature ANC active noise cancellation to block external ambient sounds from sound reproduction. The autonomy in wireless mode is 22 hours with ANC active, up to 40 hours with ANC deactivated.

Other Apple headphones

For more information on Apple headphones and earphones, take a trip to the official website of the Cupertino giant where you can find the complete list of all Apple and Beats branded audio products with related features and prices.

For the purchase, however, I advise you to contact Amazon which offers much cheaper prices than the list prices proposed by Apple. If you want, on Amazon there is a shop dedicated entirely to Beats products, in which there are the headphones and earphones mentioned in this post plus other interesting products (eg Bluetooth speakers).