Here’s a rundown of what to expect from the Apple AirPods Pro 3, including potential features and launch date.
The AirPods Pro 2 sold millions due to their remarkable features, and the Apple AirPods Pro 3 are expected to be even better.
However, it’s unclear if waiting for the AirPods Pro 3 is worthwhile since the launch details remain unconfirmed.
Still, there are rumors about the AirPods Pro (3rd generation) floating around, and we’ve gathered them in one place, so you know what to expect. Let’s dive in!
When Is the AirPods Pro 3 Release Date?
According to industry insiders, the AirPods Pro 3 should arrive in late 2024 or early 2025. The prediction is optimistic, but it makes sense, as Apple’s earbuds seem to be on a two or three-year upgrade cycle:
|Apple AirPods (1st generation)||December 2016|
|Apple AirPods (2nd generation)||March 2019|
|AirPods Pro||October 2019|
|Apple AirPods (3rd generation)||October 2021|
|AirPods Pro (2nd generation)||September 2022|
Apple’s Wearables, a category that includes AirPods, is doing well, so there’s no reason for Apple to delay a potential launch for the next AirPods Pro.
Additionally, the company announced the Vision Pro for 2024. The device promises an advanced audio experience, with testers claiming that the spatial audio feature is more immersive than with AirPods.
This could mean that the AirPods Pro will provide more enveloping sound, especially since users will be able to pair them with the Vision Pro.
What Will the AirPods Pro 3 Look Like?
Given that the AirPods Pro and Pro 2 looked similar, we expect the Pro 3 to look the same, with most of the improvements internal.
In other words, the AirPods Pro 3 will probably maintain the sleek design of its predecessors, with interchangeable ear tips and functional touch controls on the stem.
That said, users should expect the earbuds in an updated charging case with a USB-C port. Apple is transitioning from Lightning to USB-C ports to comply with European regulations. These state that electronic devices, including earbuds, must have a universal USB-C charging port to reduce electronic waste.
What Features Can We Expect From the AirPods Pro 3?
The AirPods Pro 3 will share many of the same features as the AirPods Pro 2. These include sweat and splash protection, up to 6 hours of battery life from a single charge, active noise cancellation (ANC), and Personalized Spatial Audio.
Granted, the AirPods Pro 2 boast more advanced noise cancellation than the AirPods Pro and superior sound. If Apple follows this trend, AirPods Pro 3 users should be able to enjoy further audio enhancements across the board.
On top of that, Apple might surprise fans with other hardware and software improvements. We’ve listed the rumored features below:
- Potential H3 and U2 chips
- Gesture-based controls
- Possible hearing health and body-temperature features
- AirPods features available with iOS 17
Potential H3 and U2 chips
Apple launched the H2 chip with the AirPods Pro 2. The company may debut the H3 chip with AirPods Pro 3 to stay on the innovation bandwagon, ensuring better sound and ANC. With the wireless earbud market becoming fiercely competitive, it would be unwise for Apple to rest on its laurels.
Additionally, the company could feature a U2 chip inside the AirPods Pro 3 case for improved Ultra Wideband technology. This could translate to better Find My performance and seamless Vision Pro integration. The chip is rumored to debut in the upcoming iPhone 15, so the odds are good.
Apple has been working on using gesture-based controls for AirPods, but the technology isn’t available yet.
The company applied for a patent in 2020 for sensors that would allow the earbuds to recognize subtle movements in the user’s face. Technically, this would enable users to control the earbuds with a smile or similar gesture.
While the technology seems futuristic, Vision Pro lets users navigate with their eyes and hands. Gesture-based controls for AirPods Pro could be just around the corner.
Possible hearing health and body-temperature features
Speaking of biometrics, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman states that Apple is exploring hearing health and body-temperature features for AirPods.
According to Gurman, AirPods could offer a hearing test feature that plays different tones to determine how well a person can hear. They might also have sensors that measure body temperature via the wearer’s ear canal.
Granted, these health features might be months or years away. Even so, there’s a slight chance they will make it into the next generation of AirPods Pro.
AirPods features available with iOS 17
- Adaptive Audio: A new listening mode that blends Transparency and Active Noise Cancellation, automatically adjusting the AirPods volume based on your surroundings.
- Updates to Automatic Switching: AirPods will switch between the user’s Apple devices faster.
- Mute and unmute: Following the update, users can press the stem of the AirPods to mute and unmute themselves.
What Do Users Want From the AirPods Pro 3?
Since Apple isn’t releasing official updates on the upcoming AirPods Pro 3, it’s interesting to see what users want from the next generation of Apple earbuds. After scouring forums, here are some of the improvements they call for:
- Ability to update firmware manually: Users have been complaining consistently about the firmware update process for AirPods Pro being glitchy, so they hope a manual update option is on the horizon.
- Improved noise-canceling: Some users are disappointed with the ANC capabilities of AirPods Pro 2, while others state that they degrade over time.
- More comfortable ear tips: A few users find the AirPods Pro uncomfortable to wear, especially for long periods.
- Black/multiple colors: Black AirPods are a common wish among users, but other colors would also be welcome.
While it’s unlikely that Apple would release AirPods in any color other than white, the improved ANC is almost a given. After all, Apple has a penchant for upgrades. Until more information about the AirPods Pro 3 leaks, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
How Much Will the Apple AirPods 3 Pro Cost?
The first two AirPods Pro models hit the market at a $249 price point. We estimate that the AirPods Pro 3 will follow suit.
Moreover, a new generation of AirPods Pro might lower the price of previous iterations. For example, AirPods Pro (1st generation) were available for as low as $160 at the end of 2022 from the original price of $249, and you can currently purchase them for around $180 from certain retailers.