Apple has been rumored to launch its next-generation true wireless earbuds – tentatively called AirPods 3 – for a while now. As per reliable sources such as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the updated AirPods will make their debut in the first half of 2021 rocking a design inspired by the AirPods Pro. Now, we might have our first look at what the AirPods 3 might actually look like, thanks to a leaked image and a couple of schematics that also shows the accompanying charging case (via 52Audio).
Right off the bat, the AirPods 3 appear to have taken a heavy dose of inspiration from the AirPods Pro. The stem is significantly smaller compared to the regular AirPods. Plus, the design is actually half-in ear, which might provide a better fit and improved noise isolation compared to vanilla AirPods which actually rest on the ears and don’t provide a particularly secure fit.
More importantly, the AirPods 3 will also allow users to attach replaceable ear tips, much like the AirPods Pro. But the obvious design inspiration doesn’t stop there. We also see the signature black pressure-sensitive touch input area and also the pressure-relief vent at the top as well. Additionally, they will also support Spatial Audio – Apple’s take on a surround sound experience that relies on head tracking.
Notably, the AirPods 3 will miss out on Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode (ambient sound mode, in simple terms) features that you get on the pricier AirPods Pro and AirPods Max headphones. the charging case of AirPods 3 is said to support wireless charging, but it will be smaller than the one that comes with the AirPods Pro. Finally, the report also mentions that the AirPods 3 will be priced at $150 and will debut in early March. But do take this leaked information with the proverbial pinch of salt.
Now, earlier this week, another report from earlier this week mentioned that the AirPods 3 might be launched in March. They will reportedly debut on Apple’s rumored March 16 event that will also witness the debut of new iPad Pro as well as iPad Mini models, and likely the AirTags object tracker as well. However, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently tweeted that there won’t be an Apple launch event on March 16.