It’s increasingly looking like Apple’s next big earbuds release could be the Beats Studio Buds, rather than the AirPods 3. We only heard of this unannounced set of buds last week but there’s already been multiple image leaks showing the design, and that now includes a live photo leak.
MySmartPrice (opens in new tab) posted photos of what appears to be the Beats Studio Buds’ casing, without any internal hardware or ear tips fitted. While MySmartPrice couldn’t verify the pictures, the design does closely match the earbuds seen in yesterday’s FCC documentation discovery as well as the initial iOS animation leak.
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Once again we can see a rounded, if slightly stocky shape that represents a stark departure from previous Beats and Apple in-ear headphones. There are none of the stabilising elements (like ear hooks) that you get on fitness-focused models like the Powerbeats Pro, nor is there an AirPods- or AirPods Pro-style stem with a Force Sensor.
If anything the Beats Studio Buds, from the inwards-looking angle used for these photos, look a lot more like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. Not that this would be a complaint, as besides being among the best noise-cancelling earbuds, Samsung's effort is nice and comfy.
However, we can’t see the outwards-facing side of the Beats Studio Buds, so these pictures don’t confirm whether the design will include tiny Earin A-3-style touch sensors as seen in the leaked iOS animations.
We also don’t know what kinds of features the Beats Studio Buds might support, like active noise cancellation or spatial audio, nor a release date. Still, with it already appearing in Apple’s software and with live photos of the hardware leaking, it’s likely to launch sooner rather than later.
That being said, if you're after a pair of affordable earbuds right now then check out our pics for the best cheap wireless earbuds. But if you have more cash to splash then take a look at our roundup of the best wireless earbuds overall.