Apple’s Next Third-Generation Airpods Leaked its Design!
Photo: The Indian Express

A new image claims to offer our first real-world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both ‌AirPods‌ and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds, according to Mac Rumors. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation ‌AirPods‌.

Most notably, the site in November shared an x-ray image claiming to be the new ‌AirPods‌, however, it was later proven to be faked and simply a compressed x-ray image of the current-generation AirPods Pro. The image shared today, however, is in line with what we know so far about the third-gen ‌AirPods‌.

What would be new in the next third-gen Airpods?

With Apple, a photo of what might be its next iteration of AirPods is reassuring middling — and highly likely to happen. They appear to be wireless buds that would fit between the original AirPods and the pricier (more capable) AirPods Pro. The hardware looks like the Pro iteration, with a wider case and redesigned stems. But will these headphones pack active noise cancellation?

Apple’s Next Third-Generation Airpods Leaked its Design!
Photo: CNet

A Bloomberg report previously said the third-gen model wouldn't support ANC, like the Pro, while this more recent leak from 52Audio suggests ANC features are "highly probable" as the hardware inside looks pretty similar to the Pro model, Engadget cites.

According to 52audio and a provided caption of the leaked image, the new ‌AirPods‌ will feature a pressure-relieving system, the same technology featured in the ‌AirPods Pro‌. The system is meant to equalize pressure within your ear to remove any discomfort from using the ‌AirPods‌ for a prolonged period of time. Based on the image, the charging case will be less rectangular than the case that comes with the ‌AirPods Pro‌, and more in keeping with the original ‌AirPods‌ case, but with the addition of an LED charging indicator on the front.

Apple’s Next Third-Generation Airpods Leaked its Design!
Photo: Mac Rumors

The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ may also be borrowing touch controls from the ‌AirPods Pro‌. According to accompanying 3D renders from 52audio, each new earbud will feature touch control surfaces, instead of the single and double-tap controls on the current ‌AirPods‌ (first and second generation).

The new ‌AirPods‌ are expected to offer the same five hours of continuous audio playback as the second-generation ‌AirPods‌, according to the latest report. This differs from details provided earlier by Bloomberg, however, which claims that Apple is looking to improve battery life on the new model beyond the current five hours of audio playback. Additionally, the new report claims that Spatial Audio support, a feature currently exclusive to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, is "highly" probable for the new ‌AirPods‌.

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When would the next-gen AirPods be released?

Apple has been rumored to gearing up to launch a newly refreshed audio product lineup in the market. Recently, it was reported that the third-generation AirPods, as well as the second-generation AirPods, could get launched in early 2021. While the launch dates are not yet announced by the company, it is being reported that Apple may launch these new AirPods models in the coming weeks.

Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo said that mass production for the new ‌AirPods‌ will take place in the first half of the year. According to 52audio, the new ‌AirPods‌ are set to debut at the beginning of March. This week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman poured cold water on speculation that Apple will hold an event on March 16. He did however leave the door open for an event on another date in March.

Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a mixed track record when it comes to reporting on Apple's plans, recently reported that an event on March 16 (now unlikely) will headline AirTags and new iPads. Apple released the ‌AirPods Pro‌ via a press release in 2019, so it remains to be seen how and when Apple will release the next-generation ‌AirPods‌.

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