KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on new AirPods and AirPods Pro models
  • Leaked images show how the new AirPods model may look
  • It has a similar design as the AirPods Pro but with some key differences

A new leak reveals how Apple’s upcoming third-generation AirPods may look – and how small they might be.

A leak coming by way of 52audio reveals that the rumored AirPods 3 will have a totally different look compared to the first- and second-gen AirPods. 52Audio is a Chinese website focused on audio devices and technologies related to them.

Based on the images 52audio leaked, the upcoming AirPods will have a design that looks more like the AirPods Pro, but it’s a “scaled-down” version of the more premium audio accessory.

The images also show that each earpiece looks smaller but still has an elongated stem that protrudes from the user’s ears. They also don’t seem to have the replaceable ear tips that the Pro model has. The charging case also looks similar to the AirPods Pro charging case but is smaller and has a more vertical design, Japanese blog MacOtakara noted.

Based on these details, the leaker believes that the AirPods 3, also previously reported to be the “AirPods Pro Lite,” might actually be called “AirPods Small.” The leaker thinks the word “small” fits the description better, making it more logical for use as the device’s name.

52audio clarified that some of the images have questionable authenticity. But AppleTrack, a website dedicated to monitoring leaks and rumors about Apple devices, claims that 52audio’s leak is “real” because the site accurately leaked the AirPods Pro well ahead of its release.

Innards

An X-ray image showing the device’s inner components and structure indicated that it is highly similar to the AirPods Pro. For example, it also has a charging coil that will allow for wireless charging. The AirPods's charging case basically has the same structure as that of the AirPods Pro – with the major difference being that it’s smaller.

The site claimed that the AirPods 3 might feature an H1 chip. This will allow the new device to offer support for Apple’s digital assistant Siri. That said, the device might not have active noise cancellation features like the AirPods Pro.

It’s also worth noting that the device seems to have a small battery inside it. Whether this means it will have short battery life remains to be seen.

The new report confirmed Bloomberg’s earlier claims about Apple working on a new AirPods 3 that has a design akin to the AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro AirPods Pro Photo: Aconcagua