AirPods 3: Everything We Know So Far

Apple is working on a third-generation version of the AirPods, and for this updated version rumored to be launching in 2021, we could see some design changes for the first time since the ‌AirPods‌ came out in 2016. This guide covers everything that we know about the upcoming ‌AirPods‌ 3.

AirPods Gen 3 Feature

Design Updates

The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ may be updated with a design that’s similar to the AirPods Pro, featuring a shorter stem and replaceable silicone ear tips that are able to better fit a wider range of ears.


The current ‌AirPods‌
Though the ‌AirPods‌ 3 might look like the ‌AirPods Pro‌, they’re not expected to get Pro-level features like Active Noise Cancellation and will instead be identical in overall function to the current ‌AirPods‌.

airpods 3 part

A leaked image that’s said to be the ‌AirPods‌ 3 surfaced in November 2020, featuring a design that is similar to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which is in line with rumors. The ‌AirPods‌ 3 have a more Pro-like rounded shape and are smaller in size.

airpods 3 render

Leaked images that surfaced in February 2021 are also said to depict the third-generation ‌AirPods‌ and case. 

3d renders new airpods 52audio

The ‌AirPods‌ in the image feature a shorter stem and will accommodate silicone ear tips similar to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, while the case is wider to accommodate the new design.

new airpods leaked image 52audios

A set of renders said to be sourced from a “supplier” leaked in March, and these renders allegedly depict the design of the third-generation ‌AirPods‌.

airpods 3 gizmochina

The images show off a set of ‌AirPods‌ with a shorter stem and a design similar to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, along with a smaller charging case, which lines up with previous rumors that we’ve heard.

New Internal Hardware

Apple is rumored to be working on a new wireless chip that could be included in the third-generation ‌AirPods‌, and there could potentially be some improvements in battery life. A new wireless chip could bring extended range, but the ‌AirPods‌ 3 are expected to function like the current version with fast device switching and quick pairing with Apple devices, among other benefits.playSubscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
In more technical news, the ‌AirPods‌ 3 will feature a more compact integrated system-in-package (SiP) that’s similar to the SiP used in the ‌AirPods Pro‌. This will allow more of the audio features to be integrated into a smaller casing design like the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Other Features

52audio, a site that shares rumors about headphones and earbuds, believes the ‌AirPods‌ 3 will feature the same pressure-relieving system that’s used in the ‌AirPods Pro‌. The system is meant to equalize pressure within the ear to mitigate discomfort from using the ‌AirPods‌ for a long period of time.