AirPods 3 were a no-show at Apple’s iPhone 13 event. Now what?

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After endless months of rumors and speculation, we were feeling pretty confident that Apple would finally reveal its next AirPods model at the September 14th California streaming event. Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted that would happen. But as Tim Cook revealed product after product, including the new iPad, iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, it became clear that the new AirPods were a no-show.

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So does this mean that the previous speculations and leaks about the AirPods 3 are wrong? We don’t think it’s a possibility. A more reasonable assumption is that Apple didn’t want to spill a pre-packaged set of announcements with updates to the AirPods. The company has a track record of creating special events around music, so at this point, we suspect Apple will either be hosting another event — perhaps before the end of October, or it’s just a press release. Via may announce new AirPods, something it has done in the past as well.

We’ll keep this post updated with new times as we hear more, but in the meantime, here’s everything we know (or think we know) about the AirPods 3…

design

Good pic.twitter.com/2PJdCd2hEn

— LeaksApplePro (@LeaksApplePro) 10 March 2021

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According to Kuo, the next AirPods will look a lot like the AirPods Pro, and a photo published on Twitter by LeaksApplePro confirms this. The photo shows a set of iconic white earbuds, which are similar in size to the AirPods Pro, but clearly lack the Pro’s white silicone eartips. The charging case also feels slightly longer than the case that comes with AirPods Pro.

Pictured Earbuds, If They’re Actually Real McCoys, Confirm If Korean Blog The Elec Claimed in 2020 – that the new earbuds “designed for people who like the shape and fit of the AirPods Pro but don’t use noise-canceling will be potential customers.” The lack of silicone eartips is a strong reason to believe that the new AirPods will not have ANC.

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The angled stem also appears to borrow the AirPods Pro’s pressure-sensitive controls, which will replace the current AirPods’ motion-sensitive tap controls.

Name: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro Lite, or AirPods+

A pair of Apple AirPods in one hand with their case in the background.

Guessing Apple’s name for its new products can be almost as fun as guessing what they’ll do and how much they’ll cost. At this point in the company’s history, some naming trends are evident. Apple enjoys giving its iPhone and iPad names that use numbers, words, and letters, e.g., iPhone 11, iPad Pro, and iPhone SE. The same cannot be said of its other products like the Apple TV, iMac, MacBook, etc., all of which have avoided numbers to describe how new they are.

Given that pattern, we think it’s unlikely that the AirPods 3 will actually be called the AirPods 3. Many have speculated that they may be called AirPods Pro Lite, because of their design resemblance to the AirPods Pro. But “Pro Lite” sounds weird. How can something be both “pro” and “lite”? Isn’t this an oxymoron?

We think it’s highly likely that Apple will either consider its next AirPods just a generational update – hence the “AirPods third generation” – or it will take advantage of the “plus” from the Apple TV+, thus the AirPods+.

If these new earbuds sit in between the existing AirPods and AirPods Pro in terms of features and/or price, and especially if Apple decides to keep all three in the lineup, calling them AirPods+ makes a lot of sense.

Still, Kuo, who has an admirable track record on Apple predictions, continues to refer to them in the AirPods 3.

better sound

Initially, it was thought that the AirPods 3 would use the silicone tips of the AirPods Pro, thus automatically providing better sound quality than the existing AirPods. A completely sealed ear canal would mean that the sound they produce cannot escape, and outside sounds cannot compete. But an open design without a direct seal of the ear canal limits how good it can sound.

Weinbach suggests that while the sound quality won’t be a huge departure from current AirPods, the AirPods 3 should offer better bass response thanks to their slightly modified shape.

The Earin A-3, which was launched earlier this year, proves that these open designs may look better than the current AirPods, but it is unlikely that they will look as good as the AirPods Pro.

some noise cancellation

While ANC is most commonly associated with the sealed-ear canal design, this is slowly changing. Samsung introduced the feature on its Galaxy Buds Live, which does not enter the ear canal. Granted, Samsung’s efforts in this area haven’t proven particularly successful, but that doesn’t mean Apple will face similar problems.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the AirPods Pro are still among the best ANC earbuds we’ve tested—Apple clearly knows a thing or two about doing ANC well.

Nonetheless, The Alec report, which quotes a Korean supplier that claims to be part of the chipset hardware for the next AirPods, says that these new earbuds will not have any type of noise cancellation.

bone conduction?

one Apple Patent for bone-conduction audio was seen by Nerdshala, leading to speculation that Apple may use this technology in future AirPods designs.

Bone-conduction audio bypasses the outer ear and ear canal, feeding sound to our inner ear by vibrating the bone material in our skull. It is shown to be effective for situations where people wish to maintain a high level of awareness of the outside world (eg, when working near hazards such as vehicular traffic) or simply do not want the object in their ears.

We think it’s highly unlikely that the AirPods 3 will use bone conduction, but there’s a chance we could see this audio technology in conjunction with another rumored Apple product: Apple Glass.

transparency mode

Close up of Apple AirPods Pro in one ear.

The Transparency Mode on the AirPods Pro works great – it’s arguably one of their best features. But you only need a transparency mode if the earbud’s design does a good job of passively isolating outside sounds. Without the silicone sleeves, it’s doubtful that the AirPods 3 will need a transparency mode, but that doesn’t mean Apple won’t include one anyway as there are still benefits like better call quality with an open design that you Allow your voice to be heard. more clearly.

battery life

latest rumours, Provided by leaker Max Weinbach Via Nerdshala, suggest that the AirPods 3 will have wireless charging by default (it’s currently a $50 upgrade over the standard AirPods), and the case will have a bigger battery — possibly as big as 20%.

cost

It can be hard to guess Apple on price, but we already know two things: AirPods Pro cost $249, and AirPods cost $159 if you buy the model without wireless charging. So any AirPods model that wants to be between these two in terms of features should also be between them on price.

We’re guessing that puts the AirPods 3 at $199—the current cost of a set of AirPods with wireless charging. Incidentally, that’s exactly the price predicted by the Korean supplier who spoke to The Alec, who said they would cost “20% less” than the AirPods Pro. What happens to existing AirPods? Apple will put them at $159, but you’ll now get the included wireless charging case at that price.

If Apple decides to simply update the base AirPods instead of making a new product, prices will probably stay where they are.

release date

Despite not appearing at Apple’s iPhone 13 event, it’s still possible that new earbuds from Apple will be revealed before the end of 2021. In 2020, Kuo initially predicted that we would see AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021, and Bloomberg reported similarly. Time. earlier this year, According to NerdshalaKuo has revised his timing, saying in his latest report to investors that we shouldn’t expect to see new earbuds until the third quarter of 2021. Now that we’re on the Nerdshala of the fourth quarter, the only thing we can say is that Apple should start taking pre-orders for the AirPods 3 before November so that it can celebrate the holiday shopping season. be able to take advantage.

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