New AirPods and lossless Apple Music HiFi rumored for next week

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AirPods 3 might borrow some features of AirPods Pro.
Coming soon to an ear (or even two) near you.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

New AirPods could be on their way next Tuesday, a sketchy rumor shared by AppleTrack suggests. The rumor comes from a YouTuber named Luke Miani, who doesn’t have a record when it comes to Apple rumors.

AppleTrack, which tracks the validity of Apple rumors, says it has heard “privately” that Apple is set to release new AirPods in the coming weeks. According to the report, Apple will make the announcement on May 18 in a press release.

There’s no doubt that third-gen AirPods are on the way. The question is when they’ll arrive. In late 2020, reports from the respected likes of Bloomberg said that they would likely ship in the first half of 2021. But reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has countered this by saying new AirPods won’t go into production until Q3 2021. Leaker Jon Prosser has also said they’re not on the cards imminently. The new AirPods will supposedly boast an AirPods Pro-style design. However, they will lack the active noise cancellation of the AirPods Pro.

Apple Music HiFi on the way?

The AppleTrack report also suggests that there could be Apple Music HiFi announced at the same time. Don’t expect this to be like the iPod Hi-Fi speaker system Apple released in 2006, however. Instead, it likely refers to a high-fidelity streaming option for Apple Music. If Apple does this it will largely be a case of “keeping up with the Joneses” by matching other rival streaming companies.

Jay-Z’s Tidal service famously launched with lossless audio options, while it has now been followed by the likes of Amazon, Deezer, and Qobuz. In February, Spotify announced it would be launching Spotify HiFi later this year. Spotify is Apple’s biggest rival when it comes to streaming music subscription services. Lossless audio compression retains every detail from an original recording, resulting in music that just plain sounds better. Whether it’s more of a “nice to have” or an essential demanded feature for modern streaming services to have remains up for debate. But with Spotify introducing it it would make sense for Apple to follow suit.

According to a previous report from Hits Daily Double, Apple Music’s high-fidelity option will cost $9.99 per month. That’s the same as the original launch price of Apple Music — and would definitely make Apple competitive in this market.

Will it happen?

As noted, Luke Miani doesn’t have a proven track record. Proven Leaker Jon Prosser doesn’t seem to think there’s much validity in the rumor based on his tweet response: a GIF of Danny DeVito dismissively shaking his head.

Source: AppleTrack