AirPods Gen 3: Rumors, Leaks, and Release Date

It has been almost 2 years since Apple released the AirPods 2 (2019). So, it is about time for the company to launch new true wireless earbuds now. Meanwhile, all rumors and leaks around the upcoming AirPods 3 are pointing to a 2021 release. From price, specs, to potential new features, here’s everything we know about the AirPods Gen 3 so far.


Despite some early rumors about a total redesign, recent leaks all say the AirPod Gen 3 will likely look like the AirPods Pro. This appears to be true in the newest AirPods 3 leaked photo from 52 Audio. This, alongside a series of matching and renders from other leaks, indicates a new AirPod 3 with the AirPods Pro-style tips. So, if it is true, users can have the ability to personalize the fit of their AirPods 3 by swapping different tip sizes now.

However, more recent image leaks from Gizmochina and @LeaksApplePro suggest the opposite. According to their leaks, the AirPods 3 will still stick with an open design instead of using tips. From the leaked image, we can easily notice that the AirPods design fits into the charging case without leaving any room for additional tips. 

Despite that, a shorter AirPods Pro-style stem design appears consistently in almost every leak we have seen. Plus, a report from Bloomberg also claimed that the AirPods 3 will feature “unusual” short stems. And, there is some info about Apple using a similar system-in-package (SIP) design found in the company’s ANC wireless earbuds, allowing the H1 chip and noise-canceling circuitry to fit into a more compact design.

Whether the AirPods 3 come with tips or not, it is likely to bear an identical resemblance to the AirPods Pro. In fact, Ming-Chi Kuo also backed up this info by suggesting the buds will have a form factor similar to AirPods Pro.

Unfortunately, there are no solid rumors suggesting the AirPods 3 will have sweat or water resistance. This is currently an exclusive feature to the AirPods Pro and not even included on the ultra-premium AirPods Max. But still, we hope that the new AirPod will come with IPX4 certification.

Specs and New Features

According to 52 Audio reports, the AirPods 3 will have active noise-cancellation to make it more like the AirPods Pro. We believe other AirPods Pro features will also be carried over to the AirPods 3, including Dolby Atmos support and spatial audio. 

On top of that, features like Headphones Accommodation and Hearing Health is pretty much a given. Meanwhile, on the AirPods 3 leaked images, these devices have vents on the earbuds in order to release the pressure that builds in users’ ear canal.

Additionally, there are leaks about the similar sound quality of the AirPods Pro in the new AirPods. This could mean the addition of Adaptive EQ support in the AirPods Gen 3, even if they end up lacking ANC

Since Apple has begun letting users set new default apps, we might see such functionality carry over to the AirPods 3. This could allow features like “Hey Siri” and Announce Messages to operate better with non-Apple programs.

Battery and Charging Case

Well, battery life is actually what most users complain about the Airpods. While the standard AirPods only offer around 5 hours of use on a single charge, the Pro models are even rated lower at 4.5 hours. Meanwhile, the charging cases for these models still provide the same amount of playtime (24 hours). And, there are no reports about if these numbers will change in the new AirPods.

Our guess is that the new AirPods’ battery life will remain between 4.5 to 5 hours on a single charge. Let’s hope that Apple is really working on a way to increase playtimes on its AirPods. 

On top of that, wireless charging sounds like a guarantee for the AirPods Gen 3, especially with the introduction of Magsafe last year. Also, Apple’s quick charging feature seems like another given here. Currently, the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro can offer at least 3 hours of use with a 15-minute charge. 

Besides that, there are also some rumors about the AirPods 3 charging case with integrated speaker connectivity and magnetic lid. However, these details still remain unconfirmed.

Release Date

AirPods Gen 3 leaked image

While we had lots of rumors that suggested the AirPods 3 release last year, it never came true – probably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until now, the exact time to expect the AirPods 3 is still a mystery. However, we still have leaked info about the potential release date of the AirPod Gen 3.

Jon Prosser (a famous tech leaker) hinted that this could happen during the Apple event on March 23. Alongside the new iPad Pro and other products, there was a new AirPods model that was mentioned in his update from a reliable source.

But, with the recent launch of the AirPods Max, the chances are that Apple will release new wireless earbuds early this year is actually quite low. Meanwhile, other leak sources claimed that the new AirPods 3 have gone through Apple’s final test at the end of 2020 and are ready to launch in the first half of 2021.

On top of that, Ming-Chi Kuo (a well-known Apple insider) has also said that mass production on the AirPods 3 won’t start until Q3 2021. What we know now is that Apple is yet to confirm the existence of the AirPods 3. Personally, I think that we will see new information about the new AirPods from Apple around this July at the earliest.


Rumors indicate that the AirPods 3 will be 20% cheaper than the AirPods Pro, putting it at $199 according to the current pricing. However, this is a bit higher when compared with the AirPods 2 ($159). So, this might disappoint some fans. Meanwhile, some leaks also suggest that the AirPods 3 will have a starting price similar to its previous model. Still, we think the pricing can also vary a lot based on what new specs AirPods 3 have.

What feature do you expect the most in the new AirPods Gen 3? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Realated article: 8 Must-Have AirPods Pro Accessories For 2021

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