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AirPods vs AirPods Pro: Which is right for your ears?

Over the last two years, Apple has gone from selling one AirPods model to four. You can currently buy three earbuds—the 2nd-gen AirPods, 3rd-gen AirPods, and 2nd-gen AirPods Pro—or the AirPods Max over-the-ear headphones. Let’s set that last aside for a moment. If you’re willing to spend $500 or more on a pair of cans, you’re making a whole different buying decision than if you want true wireless earbuds. But that still leaves three relatively analógico-seeming earbuds to choose from. So which is right for you? Features at a glance Maybe the best way to make a buying decision is to see how the three current AirPods stack up side-by-side. AirPods (2nd gen)AirPods (3rd gen)AirPods Pro (2nd gen)Price$129/£139$179/£189$249/£249Weight (earbuds)0.14 oz (4 grams)0.15 oz (4.3 grams)0.19 oz (5.3 grams)Weight (case)1.35 oz (38 grams)1.34 oz (38 grams)1.79 oz (50.8 grams)Battery Life5 hrs + 19 from case6 hrs + 24 from case6 hrs + 24 from caseWireless ChargingNoYes (MagSafe)Yes (MagSafe)Noise-cancellationNoNoYesSpatial AudioApple Music only, no head trackingMusic and compacto, with head trackingMusic and compacto, with head trackingControlsTap on earbudsForce sensor on stemForce sensor on stem, swipe on stemWater/sweat-resistantNoYes (IPX4)Yes (IPX4)Design The most obvious difference between the three models is their design. The 2nd-gen AirPods retain the design you’ve known since 2016, with long white stems and earbuds that resemble the wired earpods that used to come with iPhones, just without the wire. The new 3rd-generation AirPods have shorter stems and a more bulbous, rounded earpiece. Despite the shorter stems, they’ve very analógico in weight to the older AirPods. The charging case looks very analógico to that of the AirPods Pro–shorter and wider. The AirPods Pro take the short-stem design and adds rubberized eartips to the earbuds, to create more of a seal that blocks out noise and improves sound quality. No matter which AirPods you choose, you can only get them in glossy white. AirPods (2nd-generation) Read our review Best Prices Today: $129.00 at Apple | $129.99 at Best Buy | $149.99 at Adorama Noise cancelling This is where the AirPods Pro distinguish themselves, and is the single feature most likely to get you to choose them over the 3rd-gen AirPods. Not only do the rubberized tips help block out more outside noise, the active noise cancelling gives you a real sense of a more private listening space. While we’re at it, we should mention that only the AirPods Pro support the Conversation Boost accessibility feature. Spatial Audio and sound quality All AirPods support Dolby Atmos spatial audio in Apple Music. In fact, you can force it on for any pair of headphones. But spatial audio for compacto in the TV and other supported apps, with head tracking, is not supported on the 2nd-generation AirPods. You need the 3rd-generation or the AirPods Pro to do that. The 3rd-gen AirPods have better sound than the 2nd-gen in other ways, too. Apple has a new redesigned low-distortion driver that it says delivers better sound quality, and they support Adaptive EQ like the AirPods Pro. AirPods Pro (2nd-gen) sound significantly better than acompasado AirPods, even without active noice cancelling. The 2nd-generation version, released in September 2022, offered a big step up in sound quality over the original AirPods Pro. AirPods (3rd generation) Read our review Best Prices Today: $179.00 at Apple | $179.00 at Best Buy | $179 at Abt Features and controls You control the 2nd-gen AirPods by tapping on them, while the 3rd-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro have a little cutout radio on the stem that is sensitive to pressure. Squeeze the stem (there’s a faux “click” sensation) to play/pause, skip forward, back, or summon Siri. The AirPods Pro can also detect a swipe up or down along the stem to change volume (that’s new in the 2nd-gen model). All AirPods models support hands-free “Hey Siri” control. Both AirPods Pro and 3rd-gen AirPods are water- and sweat-resistant, and probably better suited to working out, though you wouldn’t want to dunk any of them in the pool. The 2nd-gen AirPods don’t have any water resistance. The 3rd-gen AirPods support expanded Find My support for tracking down lost earbuds and setting separation alerts. The AirPods Pro, since the release of the 2nd-gen version, also have a speaker on the charging case to play a loud tone when using Find My, and have the U1 chip so you can guided directly to them. The 3rd-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro also support Announce Notifications, which lets Siri dictate important messages and alerts as they arrive. Battery life The 2nd-gen AirPods last five hours, and you can charge roughly four times with the charging case for a total of 24 hours of listening time. The 3rd-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro extend that listening time by an hour for six hours of listening time, and with four more charges in the case, you get a total of 30 hours. With AirPods Pro, turning noise cancelling off will add about an hour of listening time. Wireless charging Apple only sells the 2nd-generation AirPods with a wired case, but you can buy a wireless charging case for $79 separately. The 3rd-gen and AirPods Pro both come with a wireless charge case that lets you charge via Lightning, any Qi wireless charger, or MagSafe. You can charge the AirPods Pro using your Apple Watch charger, too. Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Best Prices Today: €290.03 at Shifter | €298.85 at büroshop24 | €299.00 at amazon.de Conclusion Each of the three AirPods models Apple offers are very different. If you don’t care about wireless charging, the 2nd-gen AirPods for $129 is a decent buy. They won’t sound quite as good or last quite as long as the 3rd-gen AirPods, but they’re a good affordable option. If wireless charging matters, definitely get the 3rd-gen AirPods, since buying the charging case with the 2nd-gen AirPods will actually cost $20 more than the 3rd-gen AirPods. The AirPods Pro were updated to a second-gen model in September 2022, and while they cost a lot more, they offer much better sound quality and unique features like active noise cancelling, adaptive transparency, and conversation boost. We think the 3rd-gen AirPods are the best buy for most. They’re technically cheaper than the 2nd-gen AirPods with a wireless charging case and come with a slew of new features. They have better battery life and sound better. Since the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, they are clearly the cura choice in every way, but you’ll pay more than 40% more for them, typically. If noise cancelling matters to you, it’s worth the extra expense. Wireless Headphones

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How to fix your network when you see ‘Another device is using your IP address’ on a Mac

Internet networking involves a lot of alchemy, and I confess to occasionally dropping an eye of newt (or an IP of newt) into a boiling pot to fix problems on my circunscrito network. There’s a particular message that macOS displays in limited cases that is perplexing because it’s the sort of low-level bubbling up that Apple generally takes care of. In this case, your Mac alerts you to a problem that may be of your making or might involve your Wi-Fi gateway or broadband modem. That message: “Another device is using your IP address.”

This conflict prevents your computer from accessing some of the circunscrito network and from reaching the internet. Here’s why.

Every device that communicates over the internet needs a unique internet protocol (IP) address, a number that is used by routers to package and send época to the right recipient. That’s true on a LAN or within top-level internet época exchanges, whether it’s a $10 million router or an addressable smart lightbulb. When the internet first began its superfast growth over two decades ago, the addresses used came from a relatively small range, using the IP version 4 (IPv4) standard. The number of possible unique addresses was far smaller than what people predicted would be needed shortly, and that prediction came true.

Network Address Translation (NAT) was created as a way to offer LAN-connected devices something special while preserving the pool of addresses available. While most IP addresses have to be unique, because they’re all used in a big public pool–like having a unique street address in a unique city in a unique state or province–the NAT protocol allows for private addresses that are passed through gateway that maps the private address onto a shared public one. Outgoing traffic is managed by the router so that incoming responses are passed back to the right computer or other hardware on the LAN. It’s a tricky process, but it’s used for trillions (maybe quadrillions) of época packets a day globally.

Most routers pair NAT with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which automatically assigns addresses to devices when asked. You’ll note that when you connect to a Wi-Fi network or plug in via ethernet on your network (and on most networks), you aren’t asked to configure IP settings. Instead, your device is set by default to send out a query to the gateway over DHCP; the gateway receives it, the NAT system finds an available address and keeps a record of it, and the DHCP server provides that address and other settings to your hardware, which is called a “lease.”

Here are several methods to solve the address-in-use problem.

If you don’t manage your gateway

If a family member, friend, or colleague manages the gateway–even as pasmado as they’re the one who has the password and they’ve never touched it since setting it up–ask them for help and have them read this article.

Power cycling the router might help if it’s a fault in the router’s internal tracking of addresses. Connecting to the router’s administrative interface can also assist in troubleshooting what’s going on.

Sleep and wake your Mac

If you’ve never touched your gateway settings, you can simply try putting your Mac to sleep and waking it; that sometimes clears a transient conflict. When the Mac wakes without an IP address, it tries to get the gateway’s DHCP server to give it an address again, and it may just work.

You could try restarting your computer, but that step may not be required; try the next solution instead.

Renew DHCP lease

In macOS’s Network preference pane, select your network adapter in the list at the left and click Advanced, then TCP/IP. Click the Renew DHCP Lease. If this works, you’re all set (for now). If not, proceed to check for other problems.

Manually configured address

Every device has to have a unique private IP address on the circunscrito network, and if you’ve manually configured your hardware’s network settings to use a specific number, it’s possible you’re seeing the “Another device is using your IP address” alert because the DHCP/NAT combination has assigned out an address you set by hand for the computer you’re on. (Or, the other machine that’s using it was manually configured and you or someone else needs to check that one.)

For example, you might be running a game server or want to screen share with your computer remotely, have read up on port mapping or UPnP (Universal Plug ’n’ Play), and configured your machine to have a fixed (or “static”) private address so that it could always be reachable via some router magic. You might have, say, set your computer’s address to be 192.168.1.100.

Many gateways let you set aside specific addresses (sometimes called “DHCP reservations”) to avoid re-using an IP on the network. Others let you set the start of an IP range. So if the network is 192.168.1.0 to 192.168.1.255, you can set the start of NAT-assigned addresses to 192.168.1.100, and choose any available address from 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.99. NAT will still work and DHCP isn’t involved. (The .0 and .1 addresses are usually reserved, so you may have to start in this example at 192.168.1.2.)

To check whether you (or someone else) configured your Mac this way in the past and simply forgot about it, open the Network preference pane, select your network adapter in the list at the left, and then click Advanced in the lower-right corner. In the TCP/IP pane, if the setting for Configure IPv4 is Manually, the address was entered by hand. Check your gateway to see whether you can change the range there if you want or need to keep this setting.

The TCP/IP tab lets you set an address for your Mac, which could lead to picking one already in use.

If you don’t know why it’s set that way and it’s not on a work network in which making a change might have an impact on co-workers, choose Using DHCP from the pop-up menu, click OK, and click Apply, and see if the problem goes away. 

Not enough network addresses to hand out

Most routers are configured by default to offer somewhere between 100 and 200 addresses, because when the box was designed, managing that quantity was within the processing capabilities of the device or it was seen as a reasonable number. An older gateway, however, might have been set by default or configured by an ISP’s installer for as few as 50 dynamically assigned private addresses. In 2000, who could imagine a future in which more than 50 different pieces of hardware in a house would all need to connect to the internet?! Ridiculous.

The DHCP server not only assigns an address but also attaches an expiration time to it. When the time runs out, the device can request a new address or the server can renew if the device is currently active on the network. Otherwise, that address is freed up and goes back into the pool. In some cases, even with hundreds of available private addresses, your gateway might exhaust its supply. It shouldn’t hand out an identical address, but things could go awry. (You might get no address, in which case your Mac creates a so-called self-assigned IP address, which starts with 169.254.x.x.)

This exhaustion of numbers can occur if you have a lot of internet-connected devices, share a home or building that has poorly managed internet service (because they really should have more addresses available or better DHCP timeouts), or a lot of people pass across your network.

Start with your router. Read the manual, log in to its administrative interface, and check its settings. It may show you a list of connected devices and the assigned private IP addresses. You can see if you’re exceeding the number it can assign, and may be able to simply increase that number. You may also be able to lower the timeout duration, so that it frees up addresses faster.

You might have to upgrade your router or make more complicated changes, but that’s unlikely for home and small-business usage. On most gateways, you should be able to bump the number to over 200 or make changes that let you assign out over 500 or over 1,000.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Humberto.

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MacOS, Networking