AirPods 3: Latest Leaks Show AirPods Pro Design

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple may be ready to launch a new pair of AirPods in March. New leaks They suggest that the third generation of Apple’s regular AirPods will share some features with the $ 249 AirPods Pro, such as spatial audio support. They may also have a shorter stem, interchangeable tips, and a smaller charging case than the AirPods Pro. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming AirPods 3.

AirPods 3 may look more like AirPods Pro

So far, we’ve had two generations of regular AirPods, the wireless earbuds with a long stem sticking out of the ear. But a new leak from 52audio claims to show the third-gen earphones with a shorter stem, so overall the design looks more like the AirPods Pro.


The leaked image claiming to be AirPods 3.


The AirPods 3 can also borrow the interchangeable tip design from the AirPods Pro to provide a more comfortable in-ear fit than current AirPods, which simply rest in the ear. Some users found that regular AirPods easily fell off while moving or running, so the tips can help provide a more secure fit. While the AirPods Pro have clickable stems, the AirPods 3 may have touch surfaces to interact with the headphones.

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An earlier Bloomberg report also said that the AirPods 3 may share a similar design to the AirPods Pro, adding that entry-level AirPods would miss out on active noise cancellation. So far, it’s unclear if the AirPods 3 would have transparency mode, a way to channel external sounds to make you more aware of your surroundings.

Read more: 3 AirPods updates I want Apple to make this year

Will the AirPods 3 also come with spatial audio support?

That is the rumor. First introduced with the release of iOS 14 on AirPods Pro and later on AirPods Max headphones, spatial audio uses accelerometers and gyros to provide a virtual surround sound effect when watching compatible movies and TV shows on an iPhone. or iPad.

The 52audio report suggests that the battery life would be the same as current second-gen AirPods, lasting around 5 hours in total. The case would have an additional charge, just like it does now. In the leaked images, it appears that the case divides the difference between the squarer AirPods and the rectangular AirPods Pro.


The original AirPods design.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

As for sound quality, there are no clear details yet on what to expect, although there are likely improvements in fidelity over regular AirPods. TF International Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong track record on Apple rumors over the years, published a note in July 2020 stating that the AirPods 3 would include a package system similar to the AirPods. Pro, which means the audio quality is likely to be comparable.

It’s also safe to assume that other AirPods and AirPods Pro features, like quick switching, will make their way to AirPods 3 as well.

When will AirPods 3 be released?

Apple has yet to announce any launch events or dates for the AirPods. But many speculate that third-generation AirPods could launch in March, which is a typical launch month for Apple. The AirPods Pro and AirPods Max were announced in a press release, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Apple did the same for the AirPods 3.

It makes sense for AirPods 3 to debut at the same $ 159 price tag as current AirPods. But it’s unclear if there will also be a $ 199 wireless charging case version, or if that case would be the standard option.

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