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

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple could be ready to release a new pair of AirPods in March. New leaks we suggest that the third generation of Apple’s regular AirPods will share some features with the $ 249 AirPods Pro, such as spatial audio support. They can also have a shorter stem, replaceable tops and a smaller charging case than the 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 the usual AirPods, long-grip wireless headphones that stick out of your ear. But a new leak from 52audio claims to feature third-generation headphones with a shorter cradle, so overall the design looks more like an AirPods Pro.


An image leaked that is claimed to be AirPods 3 has been leaked.


The AirPods 3 could also borrow an interchangeable ear-tip design from the AirPods Pro to ensure a more comfortable fit in the ear than current AirPods, which simply lie in your ear. Some carriers have found that conventional AirPods will fall out easily while moving or running, so tips can ensure a more secure grip. Although AirPods Pro has clickable stems, AirPods 3 can have touch surfaces to interact with the earrings.

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An earlier Bloomberg report also said that the AirPods 3 may share a similar design as the AirPods Pro, adding that entry-level AirPods will miss out on active noise cancellation. So far, it is unclear whether the AirPods 3 would have a mode of transparency, a way of introducing external sounds to make you more aware of your surroundings.

Read more: 3 AirPod upgrades that I want Apple to make this year

Will AirPods 3 also have spatial audio support?

These are rumors. First introduced with the release of iOS 14 on AirPods Pro, and later with AirPods Max headphones, surround sound 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 battery life will remain the same as the current second-generation AirPods, lasting a total of about 5 hours. The case will be charged extra, just like now. In leaked images, the case seems to share the difference between more square AirPods and rectangular AirPods Pro cases.


Original AirPods design.

Carscar Gutiérrez / CNET

As for sound quality, there are still no clear details on what to expect, although it is likely that there will be an improvement in fidelity compared to regular AirPods. TF International Securities researcher Ming-Chi Kuo, who has had good results in Apple rumors over the years, published a note in July 2020 claiming that AirPods 3 will have a similar system in the package as AirPods Pro, which means it is likely that the quality sound was comparable.

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

When will AirPods 3 be released?

Apple has not yet announced any launch events or dates for AirPods. But many speculate that the third-generation AirPod could 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 too much of a surprise if Apple did the same with AirPods 3.

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