Apple launches limited edition AirPods Pro — but you can’t buy them

Apple AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has launched a limited edition AirPods Pro to celebrate the Chinese New Year — but you probably won’t be able to get your hands on them.

The wireless earbuds, which mark the Year of the Ox with a festive variation of Apple’s cow emoji adorning the charging case, will only be available throughout Asia, including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

That might be disappointing if you’re a Westerner, as the design is quite cute, with a smaller ox popping out of the cow emoji’s head. There are no technical differences between the limited edition AirPods Pro and the standard edition, and the design only appears on the charging case and packaging, though they also cost the same as well. It’s also just nice to see the plain white AirPro charging case with a little decoration.

This isn’t the first time Apple has celebrated Chinese New Year. As reported by AppleInsider, the previous Year of the Rat was marked by the release of an official “Shot on iPhone” video directed by Theodore Melfi, who helmed the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures.” The video chronicles three generations of Chinese women preparing for a family reunion.

If these limited edition AirPods Pro are out of your reach, take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of other noise-cancelling wireless earbuds coming soon. The AirPods Pro 2 are reportedly on the way this year and are rumored to feature better battery life and improved noise cancellation.

Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, which are expected to be revealed at a Samsung event on January 14. Multiple leaks including a hands-on video confirm these will be the first Samsung buds to combine ANC with full waterproofing, and are rumored to cost around $199, significantly less than the current-gen AirPods Pro.

Check out our list of the best wireless earbuds for more you can buy right now, though sadly none of these come with bovine emojis.

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.