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Apple AirPods 3 may adopt the Pro's design, new case (Update: Q3 release)

Update: We might have a while to wait before we see those AirPods 3.

Published onMarch 17, 2021

A photo of the Apple AirPods Pro earbuds in a man's open palm.
  • A new leak suggests the Apple AirPods 3 may adopt some stylings from the Pro version.
  • This includes silicone ear tips and a shorter stalk with touch-sensitive controls.
  • The AirPods 3 will likely be released in Q3 2021.

Update: March 17, 2021 (10:18 AM ET): According to AppleInsider market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the AirPods 3 won’t hit the market until Q3 2021. Kuo expects a marked decline of AirPods series sales leading up to the Q3 release.

Original article: February 22, 2021 (3:00 AM ET):

The standard Apple AirPods are due a refresh, and a new image claims to shed some light on likely design changes. Uncovered by 52audio (via MacRumors), the images allege that the Apple AirPods 3 will adopt a more AirPods Pro design.

This reportedly includes a shorter stem and silicone ear tips. Notably, these features had been initially reported by Bloomberg back in October 2020. See the leaked renders of the case and buds below.

While they may adopt their Pro sibling’s stylings, the Apple AirPods 3 apparently won’t feature active noise cancellation. This might not be as bad a loss though, as the silicone tips should offer more isolation than the open design of the current AirPods 2.

Additional features are said to include a pressure-equalizing system that should negate earaches, a touch-sensitive section on the stalk for controls, and a redesigned charging case.

What do you think of the alleged Apple AirPods redesign?

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These leaked images and features have yet to be corroborated, and it’s important to note that 52audio has had hits and misses before. As MacRumors discovered, an alleged leaked X-ray of the AirPods 3 was found to be a tampered shot of the AirPods Pro case. Knowing this, we’d take these leaks with a pinch of salt.

It’s unclear when the third-generation AirPods will make their bow, but there are rumors that next month may play host to an Apple event of some kind.

Read more: The best Apple AirPods alternatives

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