AirPods 3 with noise cancellation spotted bearing new design in iOS 13.2 beta

Apple has reportedly been working on a pair of premium AirPods for quite some time and now a new finding suggests the third-generation of the company’s popular wireless earphones could finally be around the corner. 

All-new design complete with a rubber tip


Spotted first by 9To5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo, the iOS 13.2 beta which Apple released earlier today contains a small icon that seemingly reveals what the company’s AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro will look like. Specifically, the next-generation wireless earphones could adopt a shorter design that also features a large in-ear portion and a rubber tip. The latter could potentially attract a new group of customers that aren’t fans of Apple’s current AirPods design.

The file name includes a reference to a B298 codename which is presumably the internal name Apple uses for its upcoming AirPods. Additionally, the image itself was found inside the Accessibility Settings folder. This suggests a new accessibility feature for the accessory that’ll allow them to be used as hearing aids or perhaps improvements to the current Live Listen capabilities may be in the works.

On a related note, the leak corroborates a set of images that appeared in early September. These apparently depict an AirPods 3 prototype but were ultimately deemed pretty sketchy at the time. However, today’s findings seemingly suggest the leak was credible. If that’s the case, Apple’s set of premium AirPods could ship alongside a redesigned charging case that’s noticeably wider but drastically shorter than the current version. It’s unclear if any internal improvements will be made to it but faster charging could be on the cards.

Noise cancellation and water resistance are likely


Over a year ago, Bloomberg reported Apple was preparing a pair of AirPods that featured an all-new design coupled with some important new features. It seems as though today’s leak could be the ones Bloomberg was referring too, which ultimately suggests AirPods 3 will support active noise cancellation and water resistance. 

At the time, Apple was also said to be working on extending the range at which AirPods can be used away from a connected device. Also under research was a built-in heart rate monitor, although it’s unclear if this has since been scrapped. Either way, the setup will probably be completed by a next-generation audio chip and improvements to battery life.


Earlier this year, tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer said Apple’s new AirPods would be offered in “new colors.” These weren't specified but a black version has been rumored for quite some time. Previous leaks have also suggested an iPhone 11 Pro-like matte coating that’ll reduce slipperiness may be part of the setup but the leaked prototype images suggest this may have been scrapped.

AirPods 3 announcement and price


AirPods 3 may enter production as soon as this month which means an announcement could take place at the company’s rumored event in late October. If this fails to happen, the company may delay the unveiling until March 2020 and choose to commence shipments soon after. Either way, the introduction coincides with trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s launch timeline predictions.

Apple is yet to confirm how much its premium pair of AirPods will cost but a price somewhere between $250 and $300 certainly seems likely. This will allow the company to sell its next-generation earphones alongside the current pair. Separate rumors suggest over-ear headphones that'll sit above the current Beats-branded lineup nay also be under development. Little is known about this product right now but the company could choose to announce it alongside its new premium AirPods.

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32 Comments

1. apple-rulz

Posts: 2182; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

The AirPods are the best and keep getting better. That’s a good thing, because it forces others to try and get better themselves. Sorta like the Apple Watch is forcing other manufacturers to take health and safety more seriously in their wearables. Competition means the consumer wins.

5. Tipus

Posts: 893; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

You forgot to write crap about Samsung :))

30. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I’m not a AirPod fan but I did get the power beat pros and they are one of the best wireless headphones handling music and phone call’s like a champ. Everyone that I talk to on them say it’s like I’m on my phone and not a Bluetooth device. I still don’t like the look of the new AirPod design. I’ll wait for the power beat pros with active noise cancellation...

4. cmdacos

Posts: 4258; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

All of a sudden in ear headphones will be the best thing ever after two years of airpod users hating on them.

10. mackan84

Posts: 547; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I for one won’t praise them. In ear makes me feel like I have a bad cold...

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Makes me feel like they won't fall out, and has a more full sound.

24. mackan84

Posts: 547; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I’m gonna guess that more full sound means more bass and a higher decibel?

27. dumpster666

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

@mackan84 no, more full means the sound feels like it's coming from a bigger source. For example, when you play a song on a small Bluetooth speaker and a bookshelf speaker at same volume....the bookshelf sounds fuller....it pushes more air compare to tiny drivers of Bluetooth speaker. Also, there is more seperation of instruments, stereo seperation is also noticably better.

26. dumpster666

Posts: 92; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

hey dark....you should try chi-fi iems from AliExpress...one such brand is Kz. they are quite a reputable brand amongs chi-fi audio enthusiast.... i have one. for $14, they sound amazing.

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'll have to check into that. Is that like an Amazon site?

31. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

That’s why I chose the power beat pros

6. surethom

Posts: 1715; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

I really don't like in ear canal design so these are a no for me, I also cannot wear Airpods because they are to slippy. Hopefully the pixel buds 2 will still have the open ear design.

22. Silva5

Posts: 45; Member since: Aug 15, 2019

Have you actually tried on the AirPods?

25. surethom

Posts: 1715; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Yes keep falling out of left ear.

7. chris2k5

Posts: 281; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

AirPod 3 will most likely what every other manufacturer copies. From Samsung to Google to Huawei. They tried copying iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPod 1/2 etc and always come up short.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple copies just as much.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

iOS 9 for instance is great, cause it copied the Note line Split view, copied from Samsung's multi window Tap to note, copied from Samsung's screen off memo Slide over, copied from Samsung's floating window Picture in picture, copied form Samsung's pop up video. I can name a ton more of Apple's copying. iOS 13. Side scrubber, copied from Samsung's side scrubber Full page screenshots, copied from Samsung's scroll capture, but poorly implemented, by only allowing to save and share as a PDF. I won't even mention Swipe. See, when you own both, you know these little details.

32. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Dark I noticed theses similarities whenever I started using the note 10 alongside my pro max again and I just smh but I like the competition!

34. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bro, I love that Samsung and Apple copy each other. Both of them have a slick OS. Samsung copies Apple's refinements, and Apple copies Samsung's features. In the end, we win.

36. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Exactly! Wish everyone would see it like this!

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple taking a cue from Samsung, and putting them in ear...smart move. The two companies I rock with copy each other, and we benefit. Right now, I rank my Galaxy Buds just ahead of my AirPods. I love that each GBud is fully functional, not like my AirPods, where one is set to Siri, and one is set to next track. The GBuds do 5 things from each Bud at all times.

19. drunkenjay

Posts: 1696; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

i have the buds and the airpods and i only prefer the buds since it fits a little better than the airpods except when i go to the gym where the buds gets squeezed out during heavy lifting. the controls on the buds are very finicky compared to the airpods especially when i try to place them in my ear and the music stops since i keeps stopping the songs when i put the buds back in.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That used to happen to me, when putting them in, but muscle memory kicked in and it doesn't happen anymore.

33. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1831; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I have the buds and the power beats pros and the pros just slightly beat the buds due to I can sit the pros on my ears without having to push them in my ears to stay in and I can hear people talking to me etc

35. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's a good thing. The Buds make you feel their presence, but are dependable as heck.

13. Jrod99

Posts: 757; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

This could be good if they keep both styles. Mostly like pod styles but have some in ear buds also when I want to block out surroundings.

14. kevv2288

Posts: 298; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

Galaxy buds are still better

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

100% agreed, and I have both.

15. jamesgam7

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

I like how this is featured and not the new Windows devices line up.

16. gadgetpower

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Can’t wait to replace my AirPods 2.

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