Third-generation AirPods and Charging Case appear in newly-leaked images

How to customize the AirPods Pro controls
How to customize the AirPods Pro controls (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • The third-generation AirPods might have been outed in new images.
  • The new AirPods are similar to AirPods Pro in appearance.

Newly-leaked images appear to show us the third-generation AirPods ahead of a potential March 2021 launch. The new wireless earbuds borrow design cues from Apple's AirPods Pro just as had been rumored previously.

The images, shared by 52audio and Macrumors show both the AirPods and their new Charging Case. And yes, the third-generation earbuds look very similar to AirPods Pro including a new, wider case. that case is similar to the one that ships with AirPods Pro, too.

3rd generation airpods

3rd generation airpods (Image credit: 52audio)

Unlike existing AirPods, this new third-generation model includes ear tips with earbuds designed to sit inside the ear rather than on it. That allows for a better fit and improved sound while preventing them from falling out quite so easily.

According to the reports, it also appears that the refreshed AirPods will include a system to help relieve pressure to make them more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.

3rd generation airpods

3rd generation airpods (Image credit: 52audio)

According to 52audio and a provided caption of the leaked image, the new ‌AirPods‌ will feature a pressure-relieving system, the same technology featured in the ‌AirPods Pro‌. The system is meant to equalize pressure within your ear to remove any discomfort from using the ‌AirPods‌ for a prolonged period of time.

We're also told that support for Spatial Audio will be included this time around, while playback sits at five hours between charges.

We don't know when the updated AirPods will ship but the smart money appears to be on a launch during the month of March. Fingers and toes are already crossed accordingly, with pricing expected to remain around the $150 mark.

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.