Apple Plans Major AirPods Update with ANC in Fall

Key Takeaways

  • Apple plans major updates with ANC for upcoming AirPods models.
  • New AirPods models to bridge the gap with Pro versions.
  • Upcoming AirPods feature ANC, marking a first for non-Pro models.

Insider sources reveal major updates for Apple’s AirPods lineup, including the introduction of active noise cancellation in upcoming models.

Apple’s AirPods 3 face stiff competition in the wireless earbuds market, primarily due to the absence of active noise cancellation (ANC). However, the latest leaks suggest this critical feature will be included in one of the new models expected later this year.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple plans to unveil two updated AirPods models to succeed the current second and third generations.

Production is set to begin in May, with an anticipated release around September or October. These updates are significant enough to be called “the biggest AirPods launch to date.”

While the AirPods Pro line won’t see new additions until next year, the upcoming models will significantly reduce the feature gap with the Pro versions. Details on the next iteration of AirPods Max were absent from the announcement.

The 2024 AirPods Refresh: What to Expect

Gurman reveals two new models under development, tagged E (Entry Level) and M (Mid-tier), each poised to offer unique features and pricing.

These models’ redesigned shapes aim for improved comfort and fit alongside USB-C charging capabilities. A standout update is the inclusion of ANC in the M model, marking a first for Apple’s standard AirPods lineup.

In addition to hardware advancements, Apple is set to enhance AirPods functionality within iOS 18. This includes a new “hearing aid mode” for AirPods Pro 2 and a hearing test feature, broadening the devices’ utility. Plans might even involve integrating low-resolution cameras into AirPods for data collection by an AI system.

The inclusion of ANC in the forthcoming AirPods models is particularly compelling. When the AirPods 3 launched, their lack of ANC was a noted disadvantage compared to slightly pricier competitors.

However, with the current competitive market landscape, offering an ANC feature at a strategic price point could make Apple’s 2024 earbuds lineup a significant player.