Following the introduction of AirPods Max in December, Apple has reportedly updated for the rest of its AirPods lineup in 2021. This year, we expect Apple to introduce a new version of its incredibly popular AirPods and AirPods Pro, bringing major changes. Both of them. Here is everything we know so far.
First and foremost, Apple hopes to introduce a new version of its entry-level AirPods with a new design. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that the new AirPods will introduce a new form factor and design “similar to AirPods Pro”, although the analyst has not provided any details.
The second generation AirPods were initially released in March 2019 with “Are Siri” support and Qi wireless charging. The overall design and form factor of the AirPods have remained the same since their original release in December 2016, so they are overdue for some kind of visual redesign.
Bloomberg In October, Apple reported that it plans to launch new entry-level AirPods with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips, confirming Kuo’s reporting that the design will be similar to AirPods Pro. This means that AirPods 3 will feature an in-ear design rather than resting on your ear, as current AirPods do.
If AirPods and AirPods Pro have a similar design, what sets them apart and helps Apple justify the high-value AirPods Pro? according to this Bloomberg, AirPods will lack the high-end AirPods Pro, with features such as noise cancellation and transparency mode.
As far as a release, both Ku and Bloomberg Apple is expected to release AirPods 3 sometime in 2021. Pricing information is unclear, but at least one report suggested that AirPods 3 will be priced around 20% lower than AirPods Pro, indicating a $ 199 price point.
Currently Apple sells AirPods for $ 199 with a wired charging case and AirPods with a wireless charging case.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly planning a new version of AirPods Pro in 2021, again with an entirely new design. This time, Apple is reportedly planning to make AirPods Pro, much like some of the market’s competitors from Amazon and Samsung.
Bloomberg Has reported that the second-gen AirPods Pro will feature a “more compact” design that removes the stem emanating from the AirPods Pro. “In testing a design has a more rounded shape that fills a user’s ear more,” the report explained, comparing the design to offerings from Samsung and Amazon.
For those unfamiliar, the Amazon Echo buds feature a stem-less design that is perfectly round and rests inside the user’s ear.
However, these changes are not guaranteed. Apple is said to have faced challenges removing the AirPods Pro stem, while still incorporating features such as transparency mode, H1 chip, and noise cancellation. As such, Apple may settle on a less ambitious redesign of AirPods Pro.
Another change to expect with the AirPods Pro in 2021 is a rescheduled charging case. The redesigned AirPods Pro charging case will remain 21 mm thick, while it will be 46 mm long and 54 mm wide. For comparison, the current AirPods Pro charging case is 45.2 mm long and 60.6 mm wide.
One possibility here is that Apple AirPods Pro is adjusting the design of the charging case to include support for MagSafe. Currently, AirPods Pro can be charged on a MagSafe puck, but the charging case does not magnetically attach to it. Apple will have to redesign the charging case if it plans to change the earbuds’ form factor.
The AirPods Pro 2 is expected to be priced at the same $ 249 price point as the current AirPods Pro, and reports have suggested that a release may arrive as soon as April.
Apple’s decision to redesign the AirPods’ form factor is likely to be controversial. There are many people who actively like the AirPods design over the in-ear fit of AirPods Pro. Actually, a poll 9to5Mac Readers indicated last month that 42% of readers prefer AirPods design, compared to 53% who prefer AirPod Pro.
However, it makes sense for Apple to unify AirPods design and make entry-level AirPods more customizable. Currently, Apple refers to AirPods as a “universal fit”, which essentially just means that they are “one-size-fits-all”.
Apple’s decision to include different ear tip sizes in the box with AirPods would likely appeal to a wider set of users who would otherwise not like the “universal” design.
On the other hand, the redesigned AirPods Pro certainly seems intriguing, but again, design changes for headphones and earbuds are always controversial. Removing the stem and going for a rounded design is a major design change for AirPods Pro.
Interestingly, we have not yet heard any details about new features for AirPods or AirPods Pro. All reports so far have been based on supply chain sources, often containing only information about the physical design of the products, not potential new software features.
What do you think about the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 rumors? Are you eager for rumored design changes or do you like the existing design?
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