Rumour has it that Apple will be dropping the AirPods 3 and new AirPods Pro this year. Here’s everything we know so far.
In December Apple casually dropped its first ever pair of over ear headphones, the AirPods Max. Coming in at $899 they’re ludicrously expensive.
So it seems about right that Apple would also take this opportunity to follow up with some slightly less eye-bulging options for 2021.
The second generation AirPods came out in 2019 so it makes sense that a refresh is on the horizon.
According to renowned Apple Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, the AirPods 3 (or AirPods Pro Lite) will get a refreshed form factor more akin to the AirPods Pro.
This means we can most likely expect a shorter case rather than the longer one of past AirPods. If true it will be the first time the regular AirPods aesthetic has changed since they were first introduced back in 2016.
There’s also reports that the third generation AirPods will swap to an in-ear design with replaceable ear tips, just like the AirPods Pro.
This would be a big change as the current generations of AirPods don’t have changeable pieces and rest on the ears rather than within them.
But if all of this is true, it does lead us to wonder what the actual differences between the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 will be?
According to Bloomberg, the AirPods will probably not have noise cancellation and transparency options.
Alleged images of the AirPods 3 have surfaced courtesy of 52 Audio. They basically back up the rumours that already existed, depicting shorter stems, replacable silicon tips and a smaller charging case.
New AirPods Pro
Apparently we can expect a refresh of the AirPods Pro look in 2021, too.
According to Bloomberg it might have a more compact design that removes the stem and is reminiscent of some competitor products in market. This would certainly make sense if Apple wants to differentiate it from the AirPods 3 — particularly if the entry-level pods get more premium features this year.
Rumours also suggest that the tips may be a little rounder to fill out within the ear more.
As for the case, it will apparently stay 21mm thick but will be redesigned to be 46mm by 54mm. The current gen AirPods Pro are 45.2mm by 60.6mm.
This change is most likely to accomodate the change in design, if true. It is also possible it’s to better support Apple’s new MagSafe wireless charging.
While the current gen of AirPods Pro does support it, it doesn’t attach magentically like iPhone 12 devices do.
We don’t currently know when in 2021 the new AirPods 3 and Pro will come out or how much they’ll cost. But we’ll update this post when we learn more!
Disclosure: the author owns shares in Apple.