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AirPods 3 tipped to launch at Monday's Apple event — what to expect

Apple AirPods 3 leaked image
(Image credit: 52 Audio)

AirPods 3 have been in the works for a long time now. Apple’s third generation of true wireless earphones were tipped for the first half of the year, but when the Spring event came and went without AirPods 3, we resigned ourselves to waiting until the latter half of 2021. 

Now it seems like that wait will finally be over, with AirPods 3 set to debut at Monday's "Unleashed" Apple event alongside the hotly tipped redesign of the upcoming MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021.  

In an investor note from Wedbush shared with MacRumors, analyst Dan Ives claims the AirPods 3 will likely appear at the event. The report states that supply chain checks suggest that the new earphones are already in production and ready to go, which indicates that availability will be almost immediate, too. 

For obvious reasons, supply chain checks tend to be an accurate way of gauging when companies are gearing up for a full release. But if you wanted a second opinion, then on Weibo the leaker @PandaIsBald has also claimed that AirPods 3 will be announced next week. 

Unlike with iPhones, an update to AirPods isn’t an annual occurrence, and it will be the first change to the entry-level earbuds since AirPods 2 launched in 2019. The second generation brought Siri integration, lower latency, a longer battery and an optional wireless charging case. 

This time around, we’re expecting bibger changes. The AirPods 3 will apparently adopt the shorter stem seen on AirPods Pro which will certainly please some. We’ve also heard rumors of active noise cancellation, but it’s not clear how the AirPods Pro would stand out at that point. 

Apple is reportedly planning to introduce fitness tracking features to AirPods Pro 2, but the release date for those earbuds don’t appear to be anytime soon. 

You can tune in to the Apple event yourself on Monday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, but if you’d rather just read up on what you need to know afterwards, be sure to check back here, where we’ll have all the news and analysis you need.  

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.