Apple preparing for a major AirPods overhaul, says Mark Gurman
Apple could revamp its AirPods lineup by introducing two variants of the entry-level AirPods, alongside the AirPods Max 2nd Generation.
Apple's AirPods are one of the most popular earbuds on the planet, with a design that can be recognized at first glance. However, the Cupertino-based tech giant also faces stiff competition in this segment from the likes of Samsung, Jabra, Bose, Sennheiser, and more. As a result, the need for constant innovation arises. Apple recently unveiled its AirPods Pro 2nd Gen with USB Type-C but it did not feature any major hardware changes. However, the company could be preparing for a major overhaul to its AirPods lineup, with several refreshed offerings planned in the next couple of years.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman revealed that Apple could revamp its AirPods lineup by introducing two variants of the entry-level AirPods, alongside the AirPods Max 2nd Generation.
Two variants of AirPods
The first of the products would be entry-level AirPods introduced in late 2024. It would feature a new design, and improved audio and would offer a better fit. These new AirPods would also get the USB Type-C upgrade, with Apple planning to phase out its proprietary lightning port. The AirPods case could also be updated.
This time around, the base AirPods would get another and more upscale variant. It will reportedly feature Active Noise Cancellation, a feature that has eluded the standard AirPods so far, with only the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max getting it. Apple will reportedly phase out the second and third generation of AirPods and will introduce two variants of base AirPods, priced differently.
According to Gurman, the higher variant of the standard AirPods could also get a case with speakers. This would allow it to play Find My Alerts, similar to the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation, “making it easier for users to find their case when it gets lost”.
The next product to receive a revamp is expected to be the AirPods Max, Apple's first on-ear headphones. Since launching in 2020, the AirPods Max has remained unchanged, but it could be due for an upgrade. Although no groundbreaking hardware changes have been tipped, the new AirPods Max could feature a USB Type-C port, as well as new colours. It will reportedly be launched in late 2024.
As per Gurman, the next generation of AirPods Pro is also in the pipeline and could feature a new design and updated chip. However, they aren't due to launch until 2025.