KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on several AirPods models, the AirPods 3, AirPods Studio and AirPods Pro Lite
  • The AirPods Studio is an over-ear model that may be sold for $349
  • Exact release dates are currently unknown

Apple is expected to release new AirPods models soon, alongside other iDevices such as the new iPhone 12 series, Apple Watch Series 6, new iPad models and more.

Various reports are saying that the Cupertino tech giant is working on several models, each of them offering different features.

What can fans expect from the new AirPods models? Here's a quick rundown.

AirPods 3

Apple is working on the third-generation AirPods model, which fans refer to as the “AirPods 3.” Various sources indicate that this will be very different from the first and second-gen models from the inside to the outside.

First, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple will use a system-in-package (SiP) design for the AirPods 3, different from the surface mount technology (SMT) used on the AirPods 2. The AirPods Pro used SiP technology to house the H1 chip and offer improved performance, as well as active noise cancellation.

Second, earlier reports mentioned an icon found inside iOS 13.2 that resembles Apple's older earbuds but without the wires. This icon is believed to indicate that the upcoming AirPods model will have an in-ear design different from the one used by the AirPods 2.

The AirPods 3 is expected to arrive next year.

AirPods Studio

Apple is also working on a pair of premium over-ear headphones dubbed the AirPods Studio.

This will be the first over-ear headphones from the company outside of the Beats brand. That said, since Beats was renamed Apple Music 1, it's possible that this could be a renamed Beats headphone as well.

Earlier reports said the AirPods Studio will feature a modular design that will let users swap certain parts, such as the headband padding and ear pads, depending on their preference.

The new headphones will also have advanced features such as sensors to detect if the device is worn on the head, hung on the neck or removed altogether. It is also capable of detecting the ear inside the earcup so it can adjust the stereo output.

Noted leaker Jon Prosser said the AirPods Studio will be sold for $349, which places it alongside other offerings from Sony and Bose.

AirPods Pro Lite

Lastly, Apple is also said to be working on a cheaper alternative to the AirPods Pro dubbed the AirPods Pro Lite. Not much is known about this device. It could feature the same design as the AirPods Pro, but it might not come with noise cancellation features.

This device is expected to sell for $199 – which is between the AirPods' $159 and AirPods Pro's $249 price tags.

apple airpods pro apple airpods pro Photo: Aaron Yoo(CC BY-ND 2.0)