Forget USB-C, this AirPods Ultra concept shows what Apple should have announced

AirPods Ultra concept
(Image credit: AppleDsign)
iPHONE 15: What you need to know

Apple might have announced the new USB-C AirPods Pro during the iPhone 15 event, but a new port and improved Vision Pro support isn't enough to get most of us excited. We need more. And this concept definitely fits the bill.

The concept popped up on YouTube recently and shows what a future pair of AirPods Ultra might look like. And the concept video certainly has some interesting ideas.

Those ideas include a wingtip design to keep the earbuds in place as well as some ideas borrowed from the AirPods Max. But if you thought those ideas were cool, wait until you get to the end. Because there's an Apple Watch-shaped surprise just waiting to blow your mind.

Goin' Ultra

The idea of AirPods Ultra isn't as crazy as it might first seem, either. We of course have AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max so if Apple follows its own chip-naming pattern we could potentially see AirPods Ultra in the future. But if we do, we can be pretty sure they won't be anything like this concept.

And that's a big, big shame. Check it out.

You'll of course notice those wingtips, not to mention the cool and miniaturized version of the Digital Crown that's already present on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Vision Pro. But things get wild at the end of the video when an Apple Watch opens up to give the wearer somewhere to store and charge their earbuds.

That's something that Apple is unlikely to do, but it isn't without precedent. The Huawei Watch Buds already do the exact same thing with earbuds living inside the wearable when not in use.

The concept itself is only short and we don't see an awful lot, but the Digital Crown and what appears to be an Action Button are highlights. Now we just need to hope someone at Apple is watching.

We're covering all the Apple iPhone 15 event news and reactions now that Wonderlust is over. Don't miss all our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, iOS 17and watchOS 10 coverage so far. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.