If you’ve been holding out for AirPods with noise cancelling built in, it looks like they could be launching before the end of this month with a steep price tag. But these wireless earbuds won’t be called AirPods 3 — get ready for AirPods Pro (opens in new tab).
A new report from China Economic Daily (via Macrumors) says that the third-generation AirPods will sport a new in-ear design and offer noise-cancelling. The publication also says that the AirPods Pro will be made of metal, which will reportedly help with heat dissipation.
So why the AirPods Pro name? To better differentiate the third-get AirPods from the 2nd-gen AirPods and what’s rumored to be a fairly high price of $260.
Currently, the AirPods with Charging Case costs $144 (opens in new tab), while the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case goes for $169 (opens in new tab). So we’re talking about a price delta of close to $100 between the AirPods Pro and the 2nd-gen AirPods, presuming the former also ships with a wireless charging case.
The new AirPods have been the subject of many leaks and rumors over the past several months. Not long ago an icon for the 3rd gen AirPods appeared in the beta version of iOS 13.2.
Slashleaks also shared an image from contributor Leakspinner claiming to show the AirPods 3 "in the wild" with a smaller charging case. It’s also likely that the AirPods Pro will offer better water resistance that the 2nd Gen AirPods, if the predictions from Bloomberg prove true.
Apple already has premium wireless earbuds in its lineup with the Beats Powerbeats Pro, which offer 9 hours of battery life (4 more hours than the current AirPods) and both sweat- and water-resistance. They cost $199 but started at $249 when they were released.
The AirPods Pro would seem to be less focused on the exercise crowd and more on travelers and anyone looking for noise cancelling capability, making them a direct competitor to the Sony WF-1000xM3.
Check out our AirPods 3 rumor roundup to get up to speed on all of the latest AirPods Pro leaks prior to launch.