New AirPods 3 coming in 2021? Release date and leaks — From Apple Park

A refresh of the AirPods is right around the corner, but just when is the newest iteration of Apple’s hottest product coming out exactly?

It’s been nearly two years since the release of the last model (2019). While the wait has been long, they’re still the fastest selling earbuds in the headphone market, alongside their noise-cancelling, snuggly-fit Pro version.

Many rumors pointed to a late 2020 release of the newest AirPods models; however, the news fizzled as the new year rolled in.

Where’s the new AirPods 3?

It was long rumored that Apple would be announcing the newest model at the Apple Event on Tuesday. Although the rumored Apple AirTags and a purple iPhone 12 were announced, Apple still held their tongues when it came to the AirPods. So what gives?

Long story short, Apple is working on it. It’s unlike Apple to not follow up on one of its most successful products of all time.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review in 2020, Apple postponed the release of the new AirPods 3 until 2021 due to the health crisis. During the period, Apple has moved manufacturing to Vietnam in order to build their products faster with minimal delays.

Now, multiple sources claim that the new earphones will appear in the first half of 2021. If the rumor is true, we can expect Apple to reveal the new earphones sometime in June of 2021.

Analyst Ming Chi Kuo, a longtime Apple follower, predicts that the new earphones will release in Fall 2021. Kuo states that the new earphones will enter mass production sometime around the third period of 2021 (July-Sept). As such, the earphones may release sometime around November, after Apple Keynote event which is traditionally held in September.

As of now, all rumors and speculations show that Apple will release the AirPods 3 later this year.

Phew, that’s a relief. So, what can I expect from the AirPods 3?

The newest AirPods will feature a redesigned case and earphones. According to rumors, the earphones will have a shorter “stem” compared to the original model. (Not to get them confused, the AirPods 3 will be the follow up model to the AirPods 2 that was released in March 2019and not the AirPods Pro model that was released in December 2019).

In addition, the new earphones will look like a cross between the original earphones and the Pro model. Here’s a leaked photo from the Chinese site 52audio from last November:

The redesigned model will have a rounder shape compared to the oval shape of the Pro. In addition, the new earphones will be bigger.

This x-ray shows the components that will go inside the new earphones. Here, you can see that the earphones share similar components to the Pro model except without the noise-cancelling function.

The site, Gizmochina, also released a rendered picture of the final product including the case and earphones.

The new AirPods 3 resembles the Pro model much more than the original model, including the shortened stem and charging case. Prices will range similarly to the AirPods ($159). As such, it’s unlikely that they will carry transparency and active noise cancellation features.

It’s also likely that we might see some newly colored AirPods as well, although this is still unconfirmed. This is only logical since Apple is releasing colorful new iMacs next month, a first in over 20 years. They’ve also released the AirPod Max in different colors last December as well. Following this logic, we can expect Apple to introduce some newly colored earphones this year. Perhaps we might finally to be able to see a black/space grey AirPods soon (fingers crossed).

Final Words

All in all, the AirPods 3 looks promising. With a new design language targeted at an affordable price ($159), it’s looking like the perfect continuation to the successful AirPods line-up.

We’ll be reporting more with the latest news about the AirPods 3 as soon as we hear them. Stay tuned.

Originally published at on April 26, 2021.

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