Apple is reportedly working on new revamped Airpods and Airpods Pro as Bloomberg reported, according to the details the first revamped Airpods is likely to hit the market as early as the first half of 2021.
Both AirPods and Airpods pro will be redesigned, and offer upgraded wireless chips. Bloomberg also notes that Apple’s long-rumored over-ear headphones are still in the works and that the Cupertino company has internally discussed plans to introduce a 3rd HomePod speaker which would be between the $299 HomePod and the newly-announced $99 HomePod mini in terms of pricing and features.
The report further said that Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro could remove the stem that has been a hallmark of the AirPods’ design since their introduction in 2016. Apple will still introduce noise-cancellation, however, with a design that’s closer to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus, or Google’s Pixel Buds. Fitting everything into a smaller housing has been a challenge for the company, and the design of the device could change.
The entry-level AirPods, meanwhile, will reportedly adopt elements of the AirPods Pro’s design, with a shorter stem and replaceable ear-tips. Better battery life is also said to be on the way. The third-generation earbuds, which follow the second-gen model from March 2019, could be announced as early as the first half of next year, Bloomberg notes.
Alongside the new true wireless earbuds, Bloomberg says Apple’s over-ear headphones are still in the development phase. The design has reportedly changed to reduce the side of the external touchpads, as well as the number of swappable parts it has (the replaceable ear pads may remain, but not the headband). The headphones were reportedly due to go into production a few weeks ago, but this had to be pushed back due to a problem with the headband being too tight.
Finally, the report said that Apple has internally discussed adding a third HomePod speaker to its product lineup. However, the development is thought to be in its early stages, and the speaker may not be released sooner. Almost a year on from the launch of the AirPods Pro, and a year and a half after the second-gen AirPods, it makes complete sense that Apple is planning upgraded versions of these devices. The new AirPods sound like they’re taking some of the design benefits of the Pros, whereas a more compact design for the AirPods Pro should make them work better in most situations.