AirPods 3 rumored to launch with iPhone 13 at September event

AirPods 3 clone
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

The matter of the AirPods 3 release date has mainly been dealt with in broad terms, but a report from DigiTimes may at least narrow down the official reveal — which it will allegedly share with the iPhone 13.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes claims there’s “a good chance” that Apple’s long-rumored wireless earbuds will appear at an Apple product launch in the second half of 2021. Realistically, this would likely be the iPhone 13 reveal, which is expected to take place in September.

You’ll note that’s not a definitive confirmation of the two devices forming a single, blockbuster Apple September event, but frankly the AirPods 3 launching alongside the next iPhone just makes too much sense to entirely dismiss the notion. Pretty much all previous rumors that haven’t been debunked have put the AirPods 3 release date somewhere in Q3 2021, with mass production supposedly starting in August.

And, since the current Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro both get bonus features enabled when connected to an iOS device, the AirPods 3 and iPhone 13 are very likely to get pitched as the perfect pairing. There’s definitely scope for Apple to add full spatial audio support to the AirPods 3, even if its feature set remains largely mysterious for now.

It was already likely that Apple had a September event in the works. Other than in 2020, where the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the iPhone 12 reveal to October, Apple tends to announce its annual iPhone updates in September. There’s currently no other reason to think this year will be another outlier.

For what it’s worth, Twitter leaker @dylankt has also asserted that the AirPods 3 and an upcoming iPhone will release together in September. According to AppleTrack this account has an 81.3% accuracy rating, which is higher than most — DigiTimes itself is rated at 63.5%.

We’ll be keeping an ear out for further updates, as plans can often change, but right now a joint AirPods 3/iPhone 13 launch is one of the more believable rumors we’ve heard about these earbuds.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.