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Apple AirPods 3 could launch today — and be more expensive than AirPods 2

AirPods 3 clone
(Image credit: EverythingApplePro)

Apple's AirPods 3 look set to be showcased during today's (September 14) Apple event, and the newest iteration of Apple’s wireless earbuds are being tipped to launch at a more expensive price point than its predecessor. 

The news comes from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (byway of 9to5Mac) who claims that Apple will finally show off its first new version of the earbuds since March 2019 during its September product event. The buds are expected to go on sale during or immediately following the event's conclusion, so eager owners likely won’t have long to wait before being able to snap up a pair. 

Kuo notes that Apple will keep the AirPods 2 in its audio lineup and thus the newer AirPods will be more expensive than their predecessors, which currently cost $159 with a standard charging case or $249 with a wireless charging case. 

There is also the possibility that the AirPods 2 will be given an official price drop, which would allow the AirPods 3 to adopt the AirPods 2 current price point. Though, Kuo is keeping his cards close to his chest on this matter and hasn’t commented on which scenario is more likely. 

The AirPods 3 are expected to feature a new design heavily inspired by the AirPods Pro. Based on several leaked images, the refreshed earbuds will have shorter stems, although it appears they will be sticking with the open design instead of adopting swappable tips like the AirPods Pro offer. 

Active noise cancellation isn’t expected to be an included feature either. This makes some sense as Apple will still want a reason for iOS owners to upgrade to the more premium AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Don’t be surprised if sweat and water resistance are kept as exclusive features for the AirPods Pro as well. 

Kuo also doesn’t expect the AirPods Pro 2 to be showcased at the September Apple event, although they are being widely tipped to launch next year. The most significant product expected to be shown off at the event is the iPhone 13, but the Apple Watch 7 could also feature among other surprises. 

The annual fall Apple event will take place today (Tuesday, September 14) at 1 p.m. ET and will be live-streamed on various platforms. Keep to locked to Tom’s Guide for complete coverage of the entire event. 

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.