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AirPods 3 may look more like AirPods Pro
So far, we’ve had two generations of regular AirPods, the long-stemmed wireless earbuds that protrude from your ear. But a new leak from 52audio claims to show third-generation earbuds with a shorter stem, so in general the design looks more like AirPods Pro.
AirPods 3 can also borrow the interchangeable earplug design from AirPods Pro to provide a tighter fit in the ear than the current AirPods, which simply rest in your ear. Some carriers found that the regular AirPods would easily fall out while moving or running, so tips can help provide a more secure fit. While the AirPods Pro has clickable stems, the AirPods 3 may have contact surfaces for interaction with the earbuds.
An earlier report from Bloomberg also said that AirPods 3 can share a similar design as AirPods Pro, adding that the entry level AirPods will miss out on active noise reduction. So far, it is unclear whether AirPods 3 would have transparency mode, a way to beep external sounds to make you more aware of your surroundings.
Read more: 3 AirPods upgrades I want Apple to do this year
Does the AirPods 3 also come with spatial audio support?
That’s the rumor. First introduced with the release of iOS 14 on AirPods Pro and later AirPods Max headphones, spatial audio uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to provide a virtual surround sound effect when watching supported movies and TV shows on an iPhone or iPad.
The 52audio report suggests that the battery life will be the same as the current second-generation AirPods, which last a total of around 5 hours in total. The case will have extra cost, just as it does now. In the leaked photos, the case looks like it shares the difference between the more square AirPods and the rectangular AirPods Pro cases.
In terms of sound quality, there are no clear details yet on what to expect, although it is likely that there will be improvements in fidelity over the regular AirPods. TF International Securities research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong track record in Apple rumors over the years, released a note in July 2020 claiming that AirPods 3 would have a similar system-in-package to AirPods Pro, which means it is likely that the sound quality will be comparable.
It is also safe to assume that other AirPods and AirPods Pro features such as quick swapping will also come to AirPods 3.
When will AirPods 3 be released?
Apple has not announced any launch event or dates for AirPods yet. But many speculate that third-generation AirPods may be released in March, a typical Apple release month. The AirPods Pro and AirPods Max were both announced in a press release, so it would not be too much of a surprise if Apple did the same with the AirPods 3.
It makes sense for AirPods 3 to debut at the same price of $ 159 as the current AirPods. But it is unclear if there will also be a $ 199 version for wireless charging, or if the case will be the standard option.