AirPods redesign could land alongside new iPhone later this year

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AirPods 2. AirPods S, more like.
The wait could soon be over.
Photo: Apple

Apple is expected to introduce its much-anticipated AirPods redesign alongside the next-generation iPhone lineup later this year. The new buds could look a lot like AirPods Pro, but without features like noise cancellation.

It has been quite some time since we first saw leaked images of an apparent AirPods redesign. Since then, a number of Apple events have been and gone without a third-generation AirPods unveiling. But they are coming.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter, we can expect Apple’s new buds to appear alongside the new iPhone lineup this fall with a significant redesign.

AirPods 3 could land later this year

Gurman echoes earlier rumors that suggest the biggest change to the new AirPods will be their design. They’re expected to look much like AirPods Pro, with shorter, more subtle stems, but without the silicone tips.

AirPods won’t need those silicone tips because, unlike AirPods Pro, they are expected to miss out on active noise cancellation — one of the things that makes AirPods Pro more expensive than standard AirPods headphones.

Gurman doesn’t mention other potential changes, but it seems unlikely a redesigned shell will be the only change Apple makes. We may also see improved audio, longer battery life, and other enhancements.

An earlier report from Digitimes also indicated a fall launch for third-generation AirPods. It is believed Apple has already started ordering components ahead of mass-production later this year.

Nothing for AirPods Pro … yet

Sadly, it seems we’ll have to wait longer for an AirPods Pro refresh, which isn’t mentioned in Gurman’s report. Apple’s pricier buds aren’t expected to get a revamp until sometime next year — but it could be well worth the wait.

Some reports have hinted at all kinds of innovative improvements for AirPods Pro 2, including fitness-tracking motion sensors.