Apple to launch redesigned AirPods 3 & AirPods Pro 2 in 2021, new HomePod too

Apple to launch redesigned AirPods 3 & AirPods Pro 2 in 2021, new HomePod too
Apple has found massive success with its lineup of AirPods and, although the HomePod hasn’t been nearly as popular, next year the company wants to maximize the potential of its audio hardware business.

Apple AirPods 3

The first pair of AirPods launched in December 2016 and the second-generation model followed in March 2019. People familiar with the plans say Apple is now working on a third-generation pair.

The updated entry-level AirPods will reportedly be similar to the current AirPods Pro in terms of design. That means customers can expect a much shorter stem and replaceable ear tips.

Unfortunately, the new design won’t be paired with high-end features like active noise cancelation. Apple is said to be looking at an improvement in the battery life department, though.

According to the people, Apple has internally discussed the idea of launching the next-gen AirPods in the first half of next year. That corroborates a previous report by Ming-Chi Kuo and makes an introduction at the March 2021 event very likely.

A new wireless chip is planned for the earphones, which could mean an improved audio experience and reduced Bluetooth latency. Luxshare Precision Industry and Goertek are expected to handle production.

Apple AirPods Pro 2

In addition to a new pair of AirPods, Apple is looking at revamping AirPods Pro. The second-generation model should make an appearance in the second half of next year and could boast a Galaxy Buds-like design.

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Bloomberg reports that Apple is aiming to make AirPods Pro more compact by completely eliminating the stem on each earbud. One design in testing has a more rounded shape, but it hasn’t been finalized.

Apple is having trouble integrating its noise-cancelation technology alongside the necessary wireless antennas and microphones into the smaller earbud, so the final design could be ‘less ambitious.’

As is the case with AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 2 will benefit from a new wireless chip and be manufactured by Luxshare Precision Industry and Goertek.

Apple AirPods Studio – Delayed

As many of you will know by now, Apple is working on high-end over-ear headphones dubbed AirPods Studio. Production was scheduled to kick off two weeks ago after countless delays, but Apple pushed it back again.

Sources speaking to Bloomberg say Apple faced issues with the headband – it was deemed too tight in testing – which was originally meant to be interchangeable, but that feature has since been axed.

The size of the touch pads on either side of the headphones has been reduced too. However, the good news is that the ear cups should still be interchangeable, allowing users to personalize AirPods Studio.

Jon Prosser said recently that AirPods Studio won’t be ready to ship until December at the very earliest. If Apple avoids more hiccups, the announcement could happen at the rumored November press event, but a release in 2021 seems more likely.

Mystery third HomePod model

Apple is working on a revamped version of the original $299 HomePod. It should hit shelves at some point next year, but Bloomberg had no information to share about it.

People familiar with the matter did, however, reveal that Apple has thought about launching a third model to sit between the original $299 HomePod and the new $99 HomePod mini. These plans aren’t set in stone yet.

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