It appears that an AirPods refresh is actually going to break cover in 2021. As per a report from Bloomberg, Apple is planning to launch the third-generation AirPods later this year. Multiple rumors that have surfaced online in the past few months have also pointed to the debut of AirPods 3 in the ongoing year.

“The new base AirPods will mark the first update to the product since March 2019 and will add a new design that mostly mirrors that of the AirPods Pro. The earbuds will come with a new case and shorter stems poking out of the bottom of each one.”

The new report lends more credibility to the previous rumors and falls in line with the leaked renders that surfaced online not too long ago. The third-generation AirPods will borrow core design elements from the AirPods Pro, which includes an in-ear design and the scope for using silicone earbuds. The upcoming entry-level Apple TWS earbuds will also take design cues from the pressure relief vent of the AirPods Pro. Interestingly, counterfeit AirPods 3 allegedly based on the real product have already hit the market.

AirPods 3 leak
Image: Twitter / @LeaksApplePro

AirPods 3 will reportedly miss out on Active Noise Cancellation, which is not surprising given their target price bracket, and for the sake of differentiation from the Pro model too. However, Spatial Audio support will be a part of the package, and an Apple chip will also be there to enable quick pairing. And unless Apple inexplicably does a downgrade, wireless charging support will also be in the arsenal of Apple’s next audio wearable.

The report also mentions that the second-generation AirPods Pro will arrive next year. They will allegedly come equipped with updated motion sensors for some advanced fitness-centric capabilities. Apple is reportedly experimenting with a design overhaul for the AirPods Pro 2, one that eliminates the stem to achieve a more compact profile, somewhat like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds.


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I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.





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