It has been widely speculated that Apple will update its entry-level AirPods this year and it is said to look more like the AirPods Pro. Alleged photos of the third generation AirPods (or AirPods 3) have surfaced online showing the redesigned earbuds and their charging case.
Bloomberg initially reported that Apple planned to launch a new version of the AirPods this year. It stated that the refreshed version would feature a shorter stem and come with replaceable ear tips much like the Pro version. This was corroborated by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who also said in a research note that Apple’s new AirPods are set to adopt the design of the AirPods Pro.
In line with the previous rumours, the leaked images show the AirPods 3 will have in-ear design instead of the current design that rests on your ears.
Besides that, the charging case has been redesigned to be smaller and more narrow. Other reports state that the AirPods 3 would also feature the same Force Sensor controls as the AirPods Pro. This means that instead of using double-taps on the earbuds like the previous gen models, this would enable users to squeeze on the stem of each bud to control audio playback.
It has also been suggested that the upcoming AirPods 3 will support spatial audio. If you are not familiar, spatial audio is designed to deliver surround sound and 3D audio via your headphones – specifically the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. It works by taking content encoded in 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos signals and applies directional audio filters.
Though the AirPods 3 looks similar to the AirPods Pro, they are said to lack certain features like Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode. A supposed x-ray shot of the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro seems to suggest that the new entry-try level earbuds will have a smaller and slimmer case compared to the Pro variant.
Rumours say the AirPods 3 would be priced around USD 150 and have a March 2021 release date. However, as most of this is just rumour, take the information above with a pinch of salt. While these new entry-level AirPods do look very attractive, we will have to wait for the official announcement to know more.