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Apple AirPods (2021)
Etymotic ER3XR
See Top Ranked Earphones

Apple AirPods (2021) vs Etymotic ER3XR

Analysis:

The Apple AirPods (2021) is an exemplary product and one of the very best Earphones at the $180 budget.

The Etymotic ER3XR, however, doesn't seem to have enough data available for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions.

The Apple AirPods (2021) was loved by reviewers from numerous highly trusted sources that perform in-depth objective testing, including PCmag, Tom's Guide, CNET, Laptop Mag, and Rtings. It did great in their roundups - it was dubbed "Best Standard AirPods" by PCmag, "The best standard AirPods for voice and FaceTime calls" by Tom's Guide, and "Best open earbuds for workouts" by CNET. That's high praise coming from sources of such caliber.

As for the Etymotic ER3XR, it was really well-received by reviewers at PCmag, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2022" roundup and was named its "Best for Audiophiles", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like PCmag and SoundGuys, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Etymotic ER3XR.

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two Earphones received. We found that the Apple AirPods (2021) managed to earn a rating of 9 from hardwarezone.com.sg, whereas the Etymotic ER3XR got its highest, 9.6, score from reviewers at Head-fi.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Earphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Earphones being 7.3 out of 10, whereas the Apple AirPods (2021) and Etymotic ER3XR managed averages of 8.1 and 8.6 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Apple AirPods (2021) vs. Etymotic ER3XR comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Tom's Guide
CNET
Laptop Mag
PCmag
Rtings
SoundGuys
Wareable
iMore
Gear Patrol
Techradar
Tech. Specs Comparison
Apple AirPods (2021)
$169
Etymotic ER3XR
Canal Earphone
-
Yes
Earbud
Yes
-
Wireless
Yes
-
Higher than average expert review score
7.4
Overall Avg. for Earphones
8.6
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 5 Best Wireless Earbuds For iPhone - Winter 2022” 
Last updated: 3 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Standard AirPods
in “AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds for 2022” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best standard AirPods for voice and FaceTime calls
in “The best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls in 2022” 
Last updated: 8 days ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best open earbuds for workouts
in “Best workout headphones for 2022: Apple, Beats, Sony, Bose and more compared” 
Last updated: 8 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best AirPods without noise cancellation
in “The best true wireless earbuds: these are the top AirPods-alternatives today” 
Last updated: 4 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best wireless earbuds with an open-ear fit
in “Best wireless earbuds 2022: Our favourite budget and premium earbuds for wire-free listening” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Popular Mechanics
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Ranked #7 out of 10
in “The 10 Best Apple Watch Accessories” 
Last updated: 7 Dec 2021
BestReviews
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Earbuds” 
Last updated: 24 Dec 2021
What to Expect
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Gifts for New Dads” 
Last updated: 8 Dec 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best standard AirPods for voice and FaceTime calls
in “The best wireless headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best open-design AirPods
in “Best Apple AirPods for 2022” 
Last updated: 11 days ago
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “7 New Gadgets to Keep on Your Radar” 
Last updated: 22 Oct 2021
iMore
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
The best for most
in “iMore's Best of 2021” 
Last updated: 22 Nov 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “The best AirPods” 
Last updated: 16 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best standard AirPods overall
in “The best wireless earbuds in 2022” 
Last updated: a month ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best open earbuds
in “The 21 best wireless earbuds for 2022” 
Last updated: 22 Dec 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 8.0 out of 10
in “The best-sounding wireless earbuds” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best standard AirPods overall
in “The best headphones in 2022” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #10 out of 14
in “14 best Apple Watch accessories to pair with your smartwatch” 
Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Earbuds of 2022” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best earbuds that support spatial audio 2021” 
Last updated: 13 Nov 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “January sales 2022 — best deals on fitness trackers, 4K TVs and more - Headphones” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “January sales 2022 — best deals on fitness trackers, 4K TVs and more - Apple” 
Last updated: 5 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best for Audiophiles
in “The Best Earbuds (In-Ear Headphones) for 2022” 
Last updated: 25 Nov 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Galaxy S10 in 2022” 
Last updated: 12 Dec 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Audiophile Headphones for 2022” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Wired Headphones for Samsung Galaxy Note 9” 
Last updated: 28 Sep 2018

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
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