Despite Apple being quiet about the AirPods 4, we might know a few things about the upcoming earphones. If it wasn’t already obvious, it’ll have a USB Type-C port at the very least. But is there more?
To spoon feed you what little we do have, here’s what we know about the AirPods 4.
AirPods 4 release date
Apple AirPods have been released in a somewhat pattern formation since its launch in 2016, with the second following in 2019, and the third coming up in 2021.
Just from that alone, we can gather that the AirPods 4 release would lie somewhere in 2023 to 2024. But since we just passed an Apple event, it’s likely going to be the latter.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an industry analyst, stated that Hong Teng will take over AirPods assembly from GoerTek, and that mass shipments of the next-gen AirPods will follow in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025. That seems roughly on point for Apple, if accurate.
AirPods 4 price
Since there have been only three other AirPods, launch price has varied quite a lot.
The first launched at $159, the second at $199, and the third at $179. It’s bounced around, but my guess is that Apple will stick to its $179 price point.
However, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple might be including a more affordable AirPods, targeting a $99 price point. I don’t see Apple getting to that price without sacrificing something. It might just rip the case right out of your hands.
AirPods 4 specs and features
It seems like Apple might pull an iPhone-upgrade in terms of specs for the AirPods 4 and the next AirPods Pro. The current Pro sports an H2 chip, while the AirPods have a downgraded H1 chip. We might see a bump to H3 for the former and H2 for the latter.
The H2 chip offers better acoustics and Bluetooth 5.3, which offers more reliable connectivity via Bluetooth.
If the AirPods 4 gets the H2 chip, or even a better chip, that’s going to come with additional battery life. The AirPods Pro is capable of an additional 1 hour and 30 minutes of battery life with ANC turned on thanks to the H2 chip (compared to its previous generation).
When thinking about more features that the AirPods 4 could have, we look at what the premium models already have on offer, like on-device volume controls. However, nothing has been suggested or rumored in this regard.
We’ll likely see some improvements to the MagSafe Charging Case as well. As we mentioned earlier, one guaranteed feature in the AirPods 4 is the USB Type-C port for charging. The EU won't let Apple get away with anymore Lightning ports (thanks, EU). The AirPods Pro 2 also features precision tracking (for Find My) and a built-in speaker — let’s give AirPods 4 some of that love.
There’s not a lot of rumors out there about the AirPods 4, and definitely nothing official, but the most promising bit of speculation is that the earphones could launch sometime next year. So it’s likely we’ll get some official information out of Apple sooner rather than later.
Since Apple did not announce an update to the AirPods at the most recent event, it’s more than likely that the AirPods 4 won’t be a minor update to the charging port. We’re hoping for longer battery life, bigger sound, and some minor improvements across the board. We can’t expect big upgrades out of Apple, but we can expect it to tread on ground that it’s already paved (like with the AirPods Pro).
However, as far as all of the aforementioned information goes, they’re still considered rumors until we get official statements from Apple. So be skeptical. For news, rumors, and updates on everything Apple Airpods related, and all things tech, follow Laptop Mag on Twitter, Facebook, and Flipboard for the latest word as it arrives.
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.