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Apple AirPods 3 tipped to look like AirPods Pro but lack active noise cancellation

Apple is rumoured to bring the AirPods Pro design back with the AirPods 3 that it could launch next year.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | December 17, 2020 | Updated 12:22 IST


  • Apple could launch the AirPods 3 sometime in the first half of 2021.
  • Apple AirPods 3 is said to bring the AirPods Pro design back.
  • However, the AirPods 3 might not feature active-noise cancellation.

Apple unveiled its first AirPods-branded headphones called the AirPods Max some days back. But its earphones did not see a refresh this year. Apple has been long-rumoured to launch the third-generation of AirPods called the AirPods 3. Rumours are rife that AirPods 3 will be identical to AirPods Pro design-wise but will lack the active-noise cancellation feature. Another credible source from South Korea is now fanning these rumours, saying Apple could indeed bring AirPods 3 in the first half of 2021.

According to The Elec, citing industry insiders, Apple will launch AirPods 3 truly wireless earbuds sometime in the first half of the next year. The publication is also backing the claims that AirPods 3 will end up looking like the AirPods Pro. Some previous rumours have also pointed out that the AirPods 3 will have a stem-less design, a rounder blob, and a more compact form factor, compared with the AirPods Pro. But this might not come to reality as the AirPods Pro-like design seems more feasible.

Moreover, Apple is known to carry forward one design for its products over generations. Much like the iPhone, the AirPods models will continue to look the same for at least three to four generations. AirPods Pro were launched last year bringing the active-noise cancellation feature to Apple's premium-range earbuds. The previous two AirPods models look the same but the AirPods Pro brought a compact design with black accents on certain components.

The AirPods 3, which could arrive next year, is said to be powered by the same H1 chipset that powers the current generation of AirPods. This would mean that there will be no significant improvement in performance on the AirPods 3 over the AirPods Pro. However, there will be a new system-in-a-package (SiP) enclosure for the chipset. The chipset will lack support for active-noise cancellation, according to rumours, making the AirPods 3 significantly cheaper than the AirPods Pro.

Per the report, the AirPods 3 could be 20 per cent cheaper than AirPods Pro. Since AirPods Pro retail at $249 in the US (Rs 24,900 in India), a 20 per cent will bring the price of AirPods 3 down to some $200, roughly Rs 15,000 minus the Apple tax and customs tax that the Indian government collects on Apple products.

The report has also said that the testing for the SiP of AirPods 3 is slated to begin before this year ends while the production for the earbuds will start early in 2021. Apple is likely to introduce new wireless earbuds next year, so this rumour might actually hold some water. Anyway, we will know more about the AirPods 3 in the coming days but a launch date for the earbuds might not be announced until next year.

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Tags: Apple
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