New Apple AirPods 3 and Pro 2: Price, Release Date, Specs, News, and Rumors

New AirPods are on the horizon. Here's everything we know so far

Apple's always got a few more tricks up its sleeve and its wildly popular AirPods are no exception. It's all conjecture at this point but here's what we know. Start saving your pennies!

When Will AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro 2 Be Released?

Everything's still in the rumor stage but the industry is circling in on Spring of 2021 for AirPods 3 and Fall 2021 for AirPods Pro 2. Other rumors are placing the AirPods Pro 2 release earlier, in April 2021, but it's unconfirmed.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected and more-often-than-not on-target Apple analyst, says the third-generation AirPods are likely to enter mass-production in the first half of 2021.

U.S. Patent Office drawing and schematic of Apple's proposed AirPods 3/AirPods Pro 2

Our Bet for a Release Date

We're with Ming-Chi Kuo. We think the third-gen version will appear in Spring 2021 with the Pro version following in the Fall.

Price: How Much Are the New AirPods?

That, too, is up for debate. Currently, AirPods are priced at $159 and AirPods Pro sell for $249. If there are multiple versions of AirPods 3, expect a similar price range with the base model going for around $150 with consumers paying an extra $50 or so for the wireless charging case.

Some people think the AirPods 3 will be a newer version of the the Pro, however, which would indicate they'll be priced on the higher end of the range and called AirPods Pro 2.

It's possible Apple will allow consumers to purchase the new AirPods with an interest-free payment plan via its Apple Card credit card like you can with the current AirPods lineup.

Are Pre-Orders Available for the New AirPods?

Nope. That won't happen until Apple makes an official announcement that a new version even exists, so keep an eye on the Apple event on March 16, 2021.

The usual approach is to announce the new product, then make it quickly available for pre-order, and actually get the product out on the market not long after.

The Latest News about Apple AirPods

You can get more Smart & Connected Life news from Lifewire on all kinds of topics; here are some other rumors about Apple's update to its AirPods product line.

Rumors About the New Features

Why introduce a new product if it's just like the old one? Apple's no slouch at the marketing game; they'll definitely offer new features designed to entire current AirPods users to trade up. Bloomberg is reporting that the AirPods Pro 2 will look more similar in design to Amazon Echo Bud and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.

More interesting: Check out the U.S. Patent Office filing from Apple involving the gathering of orientation information. The patent is described as 'Wireless ear bud system with pose detection.' Sounds like Apple is angling for a bigger share of the health and fitness market with the next round of AirPods.

Revealed several months later is a second patent that mentions input detection. According to the document, the AirPods Pro could be "configured to detect inputs and change the operation of the wearable audio device in accordance with the inputs." An example is where the user touches a surface of their body, like their skin or face, or clicks their teeth or tongue to control playback. Pretty cool!

Here's what else we've heard:

Apple AirPods 3 Features

Nobody's talking about sweat or water resistance so don't expect the lower end of the product line to sport either of those features. However, there could be a few features like this that would make the upgrade to the new version worth it.

  • Shorter stems (so your AirPods won't be so obvious on all those Zoom calls.)
  • A look and feel similar to the current AirPods Pro.
  • Replaceable rubber pads.
  • Improved battery life.

According to Teknoliyo, you shouldn't look for noise cancelling features in this version. Bummer.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Features

If you're going to drop several hundred dollars on a pair on tiny earbuds, they'd better be worth every penny. From what we hear, AirPods Prod 2 are going to deliver the following:

  • No stems at all and a more rounded design.
  • Improved battery life.
  • Gyroscopes and accelerometers to measure body orientation and movement. (This tracks with the advent of Apple Fitness+.)
  • Interchangeable ear tips.

AirPods 3 Specs and Hardware Details

The internal workings of the new AirPods should be improved, too. Expect:

  • A new chip (the H2) for both models.
  • Upgraded battery and charging.

Hey, bookmark this page! We monitor Apple news and rumors daily and update this article as we find anything worth sharing.

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