Apple is widely-tipped to be gearing up for an event next week, March 23, where the company purportedly plans to unveil a number of new gadgets. The third-generation of its unfathomably popular AirPods are expected to appear on-stage with CEO Tim Cook during the announcement. But ahead of the keynote presentation, a new leak might’ve given us an early look at the new design.
New images published by 52audio seemingly reveal the new design and, as was rumoured earlier, it seems the entry-level £159 AirPods are going to borrow a leaf from the £219 AirPod Pro’s book. The photos show the third update since Apple introduced its wireless earbuds back in December 2016 will feature have a significantly shorter stem and more rounder design than the current model.
Likewise, the bundled charging case that comes with the third-generation AirPods will be almost indistinguishable from the one that ships with the AirPods Pro. It will have a longer, squatter design compared with the Tic Tac box used by the current-generation. Wireless charging is tipped to be supported.
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However, one area where the AirPods will dramatically deviate from the AirPods Pro is the lack of interchangeable tips. Whereas AirPods Pro ship with a number of different rubber tips, so that wearers can find the ones that create the best seal in their ear to enhance the active noise-cancellation, since the £159 AirPods don’t boast noise-cancellation, they will stick with the same one-size-fits-all approach found on the existing AirPods.
And it’s not just active noise-cancellation these earbuds are missing out on.
Spatial audio isn’t expected to make an appearance in the AirPods and battery life is rumoured to be identical to the current model. In fact, these redesigned AirPods will be powered by the same chipset as the second-generation AirPods, the Apple H1. Like the existing £159 AirPods, you’ll benefit from automatic switching as you move between devices, track the last known location of your earbuds using the Find My app, clear call quality enabled through beam-forming microphones.
Aside from the new look, 52audio believes the only upgrade over the AirPods 2 is that a wireless charging case will be standard (something you have to pay £30 extra for at the moment in the Apple Store). But if you have a few Apple gadgets lying around and want a pair of earbuds, these are a nice design refresh on a five-year-old design. With the event due to arrive in a matter of days, if you’re itching to get these in your basket – you’ll need to start saving fast.