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AirPods 3 rumors: Apple’s next-generation headphones look very familiar in this leaked photo


Angela Lang / CNET

Apple may be ready to launch a new pair of AirPods in March. New leaks we anticipate that Apple̵

7;s third-generation regular AirPods will share some features with the $ 249 AirPods Pro, such as surround audio support. They may also have a shorter barrel, interchangeable tips and a smaller charging case than AirPods Pro. Here’s everything you need to know about upcoming AirPods 3.

AirPods 3 may look more like AirPods Pro

So far, we’ve had two generations of regular AirPods, the long-barreled wireless headphones that stick to your ear. But a new leak from 52audio claims to show third-generation headphones with a shorter barrel, so overall the design looks more like the AirPods Pro.


The leaked photo is said to be AirPods 3.


The AirPods 3 can also take the interchangeable ear design of the AirPods Pro to provide a tighter fit in the ear than current AirPods, which simply rest in your ear. Some carriers have found that regular AirPods will fall easily while moving or running, so the tips can help you fit more securely. While AirPods Pro has snap stems, AirPods 3 may have contact surfaces to interact with earplugs.

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1 year with AirPods Pro


An earlier Bloomberg report also said that AirPods 3 could share a similar design to AirPods Pro, adding that entry-level AirPods would miss active noise reduction. It is not yet clear whether AirPods 3 will have a transparency mode, a way to insert external sounds to make you more aware of your surroundings.

Read more: 3 AirPods upgrades that I want Apple to do this year

Will AirPods 3 also come with spatial audio support?

This is the rumor. Originally introduced with the release of iOS 14 on the AirPods Pro, and later on the AirPods Max headphones, surround audio uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to give a virtual surround sound effect when watching supported movies and TV shows on the iPhone or iPad.

The 52audio report suggests that battery life will remain the same as the current second-generation AirPods, lasting a total of about 5 hours. The case would have an additional fee, just like now. In leaked images, the case looks as if it divides the difference between the more square AirPods and the rectangular AirPods Pro cases.


The original design of AirPods.

Oscar Gutierrez / CNET

In terms of sound quality, there are still no clear details on what to expect, although there are likely to be improvements in fidelity over regular AirPods. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has strong experience in rumors about Apple over the years, published a note in July 2020 stating that AirPods 3 will have a similar system in the AirPods Pro package, which means likely the sound quality will be comparable.

It is also safe to assume that other AirPods and AirPods Pro features such as fast switching will also come in AirPods 3.

When will AirPods 3 be released?

Apple has not yet announced a launch event or dates for AirPods. But many speculate that the third generation AirPods may be released in March, which is a typical month for Apple. AirPods Pro and AirPods Max were announced in a press release, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Apple did the same with AirPods 3.

It makes sense for AirPods 3 to debut at the same price of $ 159 as the current AirPods. But it is unclear whether there will be a wireless charging box version of $ 199 or this case will be the standard option.

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