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Leaked AirPods 3 renders and photos show off new design, lack of silicone tips

UPDATE: More live images of Apple’s third-gen AirPods have been shared online. The updated story continues below. 


It’s been two years since Apple introduced the current version of AirPods, so it’s about time the brand unveiled a third generation. Leaked photos have previously revealed what these could look like and newly published AirPods 3 images now provide an even clearer look.

This could be the final design of Apple’s AirPods 3

Live photos shared by DuanRui, hands-on images published by 52Audio, and renders obtained by GizmoChina from an unnamed Apple supplier all corroborate earlier leaks and rumors by depicting an updated design, believed to be close to final, that’s heavily inspired by AirPods Pro.

Future buyers of AirPods 3 can expect shorter stems and a more compact charging case. These should be some of the best true wireless earbuds around, but to keep costs down and differentiate them from AirPods Pro, there are some important differences.

Arguably the most important one relates to the ear tips. Whereas AirPods Pro feature replaceable silicone buds, these third-gen AirPods use a universal plastic in-ear design, much like the one found on current-gen AirPods, that can’t be changed or swapped.

On the inside, Apple is expected to include an upgraded audio chip. A bigger battery that’d enable longer battery life would be welcome too, although it’s far from guaranteed at this stage.

One thing that does seem certain, however, is the lack of active noise cancelation. The feature has never been used on entry-level AirPods and the third-gen AirPods will be no different, with Apple instead reserving it for AirPods Pro.

Apple’s third-generation AirPods are reportedly ‘ready’ for release. The company is rumored to have scheduled an event on March 23, so that might be the day Apple announces them.

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