Apple AirPods 3 could get an all-new design — goodbye toothbrush stems

best noise-cancelling headphones: Apple AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Apple's next-generation AirPods may be getting a design overhaul to look more like the AirPods Pro (one of the best wireless earbuds), according to leaked images showing off a shorter stem and smaller case of the third-gen wireless earbuds. You know what they say, the third generation's the charm.

As shared by Chinese site 52audio, the new design for Apple's rumoured AirPods 3, which are set to come out in 2021, is looking to lose the long stem of the previous generation, along with adopting silicone ear tips of the AirPods Pro. Well, that seems to fit the description of recent rumours

Apple AirPods 3

(Image credit: 52audio)

The third-gen AirPods are expected to look like the Pro in every way, and to even boast a longer battery life. However, the upcoming earbuds won't have certain advanced features, such as the Pro's popular noise cancellation. That makes sense, otherwise, it would just be a supposedly cheaper AirPods Pro.

That said, 52audio also states the new Airpods will have the AirPods Pro's pressure-relieving system, which equalizes pressure in the user's ear to make it more comfortable over long periods. As for spatial audio, the article points out the special Pro feature is "highly" likely for the AirPods 3, although that's just speculation. 

Apple AirPods 3 Case

(Image credit: 52audio)

As for the charging case, it also shares similarities to the AirPods Pro's design, with a more compact look along with an LED charging indicator.

While 52audio has been known to have false reports, including an image of the AirPods 3 shared back in November which was proven to be fake (as pointed out by MacRumors), these designs share many similarities with what the Apple rumour mill is churning out these days. However, like always, take it all with a pinch of salt.

The AirPods Pro 2 are also set to release alongside the Apple AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021, which will be cutting out the stems altogether, much like the Samsung Galaxy Buds. If these rumours prove to be true, then it might be time to lay off getting your hands on the 2019 AirPods Pro (even though they are pretty great). 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.