AirPods 3: Every release date, price, and feature rumor we’ve heard about Apple’s earbuds

AirPods 3: Every release date, price, and feature rumor we've heard about Apple's earbuds

Tech Highlights:

  • The AirPods 3 are said to look similar to the AirPods Pro and feature spatial audio support, as do both the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Some earlier leaks suggested that the AirPods 3 would share other features with the $249 AirPods Pro, including a shorter stem, interchangeable tips and a smaller charging case. Leaked images seem to back up those rumors. Here’s everything you need to know about the rumored AirPods 3.

  • On Oct. 18, Apple will hold its second autumn event of 2021 (here’s how to watch it live), but will the long-awaited AirPods 3 make an appearance? Although the AirPods 3 were not announced with the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7 at Apple’s September presentation, there is anticipation that they will be released before the end of the year.

So far we’ve had two generations of regular AirPods, the wireless earbuds with a long stem that sticks down from your ear. But a February leak from 52audio claims to show the third-generation earbuds with a shorter stem, so overall the design looks more like the AirPods Pro. However, like the standard AirPods, the buds in the leaked image appear to have an open design with no silicone tips.

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

The AirPods 3 could borrow the interchangeable ear-tip design from the AirPods Pro to provide a more snug fit than the current AirPods, which simply rest in your ear. Some wearers found regular AirPods would fall out easily while moving around or running, so tips can help provide a more secure fit. While the AirPods Pro have clickable stems, the AirPods 3 may have touch surfaces for interacting with the earbuds.

First introduced with the release of iOS 14 on the AirPods Pro and later on the AirPods Max, spatial audio uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to give a virtual surround sound effect when watching supported movies or TV shows and listening to music on an iPhone or iPad.

The 52audio report suggests battery life would stay the same as for the second-generation AirPods, around five hours in total. The case would also hold additional charge, as it does now. In leaked images, the case looks like it splits the difference between the more square AirPods and rectangular AirPods Pro cases.

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