Apple AirPods 3 design renders leak — here's what it may look like

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

The Apple AirPods 3 could potentially be announced at the tail-end of March, according to well-known Apple leaker Jon Prosser. If you can't wait that long, don't worry — the purported design renders of the third-generation AirPods have been leaked.

GizmoChina claims that it has obtained images of the long-rumored AirPods 3. According to the pictures, Apple has implemented the AirPods Pro's best features into its next-generation AirPods.

Apple AirPods 3 looks like the AirPods Pro

Thanks to a source within Apple's supply chain, GizmoChina obtained leaked renders of the AirPods 3. The photos align with rumors we've been hearing since last year. Last June, we reported on gossip that claimed that the AirPods 3 will borrow attractive design features from the AirPods Pro. The third-generation AirPods was reportedly poised to launch in 2020, but due to the pandemic, Apple decided to push the release date back to 2021.

Two weeks ago, more leaks flooded in about the AirPods 3. This time, they came with images, shutting down our "pictures or you're lying" skepticism. The leaks revealed that Apple adopted the AirPods Pro's silicone ear tips and shorter stems. 52audio, the Chinese tech site that leaked the images, claimed that although the AirPods 3 is similar to the Pro — even its charging case looks like the Pro's — it won't have the Pro's most beloved feature: active noise cancellation.

However, 52audio's reputation suffered a setback after MacRumors called it out for sharing fake renders of the AirPods 3 back in November, so we were still leery about the images. But now, GizmoChina got its hands on purported renders that authenticate 52audio's late February report.

AirPods 3

AirPods 3 via GizmoChina (Image credit: GizmoChina)

Again, the renders reveal that the AirPods 3 will, indeed, have its stem slashed and feature replaceable ear tips like the AirPods Pro. GizmoChina says these design renders are likely the final, ready-for-market version of the AirPods 3 that will be released for purchase.

The second-generation AirPods were launched in March of 2019. As such, pundits predicted that the AirPods 3 would hit store shelves this month. Prosser agrees with this forecast. As we reported on Monday, the Apple leaker revealed that the Cupertino-based tech giant will host an event on March 23. Along with the AirPods 3, Prosser said that the AirTags, iPad Pro and more could also be announced at the end of this month.

Only time will tell if these rumors are true. We'll be keeping an eye out for an announcement from Apple in the coming days.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!