Apple's next-generation AirPods may be getting a design overhaul to look more like the AirPods Pro, 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.
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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.
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).