A reported leak of Apple’s 3rd generation AirPods shows quite a few new features, including some cribbed from the more-expensive AirPods Pro model. The pictures, first shared by the Chinese website 52 Audio, appear to show the earbuds with shorter stems and in-ear tips that help keep the wireless buds in users’ ears.
In addition to the aesthetic changes, several outlets are sharing that the leaked Airpods contain spatial audio, a surround sound system included in the higher-end AirPods that takes your head movement into account to create 3D audio. The initial report also claims that the next-gen earbuds would have automatic noise cancellation like their pricier counterparts and feature a pressure relief vent to account for the tight seal needed for in-ear, noise-canceling headphones.
Apple last updated its AirPods line in 2019, with the release of AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. They have not announced plans to release a new iteration of either model. However, Apple prognosticators expect an update in the near future. Bloomberg reported that the tech giant was working on higher-tech entry-level headphones back in October.
That’s not to say Apple has been loafing. The Cupertino-based company just launched a mini version of its HomePod smart speaker and updated its iOS operating system amid fears of security breaches. And for those willing to shell out for the latest gadgets, Apple did reveal its colorful AirPod Max back in December. The over-ear headphones retail for an astounding $549, $300 more than the upper-echelon of the in-ear AirPods. However, our reviewer found that they might be worth it for anyone missing the immersive sound of a movie theater.