LA Leaker: LeBron James just showed off Beats Studio Buds

Apple Beats Studio Buds
(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

The Beats Studio Buds has been leaking in all the usual ways, like FCC documentation and sneaky photo leaks, but the latest look at Apple’s unannounced wireless earbuds comes from the lesser-mined source of technology news that is LeBron James’ Instagram.

The NBA player shared some snaps of himself wearing what certainly appears to be the Beats Studio Buds in white. Given James has long served as an investor in and brand advocate for Beats, this may not be an accident.

Before getting into guerrilla marketing theories starring L.A. Lakers small forwards, let’s take a closer look at the buds in question. The photos aren’t particularly high quality but it is possible to make out that slanted, thin strip of what is presumable a touch sensor poking out of James’ ears.

Beats Studio Buds LeBron James

(Image credit: LeBron James/Instagram)

This alone is a good indication that this really is a photo of the Beats Studio Buds in situ, as we don’t know of any other earbuds with that particular shape. From what we’ve seen in previous image leaks, like the animations found in an iOS beta, the Studio Buds will depart from established Beats earbuds styling by forgoing both wires and any over-ear hooks.

Beats Studio Buds LeBron James

(Image credit: LeBron James/Instagram)

Again, neither are visible in James’ photos, so unless he’s wearing yet another pair of unannounced wireless earbuds that just happen to look a lot like the Beats Studio Buds…he’s probably wearing the Beats Studio Buds.

But was this a candid slip-up, with James mistakenly allowing himself to get photographed wearing what may have been a top-secret gift from his friends at Beats? Or was it a case of a known Beats advocate intentionally adding some more “official” hype to an upcoming product? It looks safe to say the Beats Studio Buds is on the way; perhaps given the sudden but intense deluge of leaks, Apple may have wanted to exert a little control without needing to pull the trigger on a full announcement.

In any case, the Beats Studio Buds news is coming thick and fast, so stay tuned for further updates on this potential best headphones contender.

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.