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AirPods 3 tipped to be announced at Apple event this week

AirPods 2 vs. AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The long-expected Apple AirPods 3 are tipped to finally be announced at the upcoming "California Streaming" Apple event on September 14, and they may be priced similarly to the Cupertino company's current generation of wireless earbuds.

Apple's third-generation AirPods are expected to be unveiled alongside the hugely anticipated iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7, and have long been rumored to sport the same design as the AirPods Pro. This means losing the long stem on the current pair of earbuds, along with adopting silicone ear tips. 

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), there are two scenarios for the AirPods 3's price point. Either they will be priced more than the AirPods 2, with the current-generation AirPods still being available to purchase; or Apple will reduce the price of the current AirPods and the AirPods 3 will replace them. This means the next-gen earbuds will be priced at $199.

The AirPods 2‘s retail price is set at $149/£159 ($199/£199 with wireless charging case). While this price isn’t the most budget-friendly when compared to other earbuds like the Google Pixel Buds A-Series, Apple’s most affordable option is popular for a good reason.

With the AirPods Pro priced at $249/£249, the next-gen AirPods are expected to be considerably cheaper. It sounds likely that the AirPods 3 will end up costing the same as the second-gen earbuds. 

AirPods with Active Noise Cancellation 

While the AirPods 3 are expected to boast a similar design to the AirPods Pro, don't expect them to bring all the "Pro" features with the design overhaul. However, previous rumors claim that we may be getting ANC and longer battery life.

According to a Bloomberg report, the third-generation AirPods are set to feature a wireless chip to replace the H1 processor. This is expected to increase the five-hour battery life of the second-gen models.

That's not all, as Kuo claims the next AirPods will use a compact system-in-package (SiP) similar to the AirPods Pro. This indicates the AirPods 3 may include ANC, and possibly even transparency mode, an adaptive EQ, and spatial audio. 52 Audio believes the AirPods will at least include ANC.

Only time will tell if the AirPods 3 will be a significant upgrade over Apple's current earbuds. Stay tuned for the potential announcement during the Apple event taking place on Tuesday, September 14, and for more of the best wireless earbuds on the market, we've got you covered.