After launching AirPods Max in December, Apple reportedly has updates for the rest of its AirPods lineup in 2021 on the way. This year, we expect Apple to launch a new version of its incredibly popular AirPods and AirPods Pro that will bring significant changes to both. Here’s everything we know so far.

Update February 22, 2021::

First and foremost, Apple is expected to introduce a new version of its entry-level AirPods with an entirely new design. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that the new AirPods will have a new form factor and design, “similar to AirPods Pro,” although the analyst did not provide details.

The second generation AirPods were originally published in March 2019, brings “Hey Siri” Support and Qi wireless charging. The overall design and form factor of AirPods have stayed the same since their original release in December 2016, making them overdue for some sort of visual redesign.

Bloomberg reported in October Apple plans to introduce new entry-level AirPods with a shorter stem and interchangeable earbuds. This confirms Kuo’s report that the design will be similar to the AirPods Pro. This means that AirPods 3 have an in-ear design and not rest on your ear like the current AirPods.

If AirPods and AirPods Pro are similar in design, what makes them different and helps Apple justify the higher price of AirPods Pro? According to BloombergThe AirPods would lack high-end AirPods Pro features like noise cancellation and transparency mode.

Recently leaked images from 52audio Likewise claim to have our first real-life look at the redesigned AirPods 3. Here we see the smaller stem, in-ear design, and redesigned battery case.

So much for a publication, both Kuo and Bloomberg Expect Apple to release AirPods 3 sometime in 2021. The pricing information is unclear, but at least one report has suggested it AirPods 3 cost around 20% less than AirPods Pro, which indicates a price tag of $ 199.

Apple currently sells AirPods with a wired charging case for $ 159 and AirPods with a wireless charging case for $ 199.

Meanwhile, Apple is also reportedly planning a new version of AirPods Pro in 2021, also with an entirely new design. This time around, Apple is reportedly planning to make AirPods Pro pretty similar to some of its competitors in the Amazon and Samsung market.

Bloomberg reported that the second generation AirPods Pro has a “more compact” design that removes the stem from which power protrudes from the bottom of the AirPods Pro. “One design under test has a rounded shape that more fills a user’s ear”The report explained, comparing the design with offers from Samsung and Amazon.

For strangers the Amazon Echo Buds feature A stemless design that is completely round and sits in the user’s ear.

Amazon Echo buds

However, these changes cannot be guaranteed. Apple is said to have faced challenges in removing the AirPods Pro stem while also including features such as transparency mode, the H1 chip and noise cancellation. Because of this, Apple might opt ​​for a less ambitious redesign of the AirPods Pro.

Another change that can be expected with AirPods Pro in 2021 is a redesigned charging case. The redesigned AirPods Pro charging case will remain 21 mm thick, 46 mm high and 54 mm wide. To compare the electricity AirPods Pro charging case measures 45.2 mm high and 60.6 mm wide.

One possibility is for Apple to adapt the design of the AirPods Pro charging case to support MagSafe. Currently, AirPods Pro can be charged on the MagSafe puck, but the charging case does not attach to it magnetically. Apple would also have to redesign the charging case if they wanted to change the form factor of the earbuds themselves.

AirPods Pro 2 is expected to be priced at the same $ 249 price as the current AirPods Pro Reports have suggested A publication could take place as early as April.

9to5Mac’s Take

Apple’s decision to redesign the AirPods form factor is likely to be controversial. There are many people who prefer the AirPods design to the in-ear fit of the AirPods Pro. Indeed a poll of 9to5Mac Readers stated last month 42% of readers prefer the AirPods design compared to 53% who prefer the AirPods Pro.

Still, it makes sense for Apple to unify the AirPods design and make the entry-level AirPods more customizable. Currently, Apple refers to the AirPods as “universally suitable”which essentially just means they “one size fits all” are.

Apple’s decision to include different sizes of earbuds in the packaging of AirPods will likely result in them appealing to a wider group of users who would otherwise not like the “universal” design.

On the other hand, the redesigned AirPods Pro certainly sound fascinating, but here, too, design changes to headphones and earphones are always controversial. Removing the stem and striving for a rounded design is a major design change for AirPods Pro.

What’s interesting is that we haven’t heard any details about new features for AirPods or AirPods Pro yet. All previous reports are based on sources in the supply chain, which often only provide insight into the physical design of products and not into potential new software features.

What do you think of the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 rumors? Are you looking forward to the rumored design changes or do you prefer the current design?

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