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Report Claims AirPods 3 With Noise Canceling Feature to Launch Later This Year

DigiTimes reports this morning that Apple is set to launch third-generation AirPods with a noise cancelation function by the end of the year, a claim at odds with rumors that Apple's AirPods 3 have been pushed back to 2020.

Apple is reportedly set to release its third-generation AirPods for sales by the end of 2019, with the new wireless earphones to incorporate a noise cancellation function. And Taiwan's Inventec reportedly will be the major assembler of AirPods 3, while China's Luxshare Precision will also grab part of the orders for the new device, according to industry sources.
Today's report claims that Apple will fend off competition from rival brands of true wireless earbuds by including a noise-canceling function in its third-generation AirPods, although doing so could throw up new design and assembly challenges.
The sources said that noise cancellation is not a new technology, but a technology hard to harness. On the one hand, semiconductor devices can hardly work without suffering electromagnetic disturbance, and on the other hand how the structural design of the noise forward feedback microphone can be done well to achieve harmonious operation with other devices is a great challenge for designers and assemblers.

In addition, earphones with noise-cancellation function will consume more power than those without, and it remains to be seen how Apple will do to reduce power consumption, the sources indicated.
Taiwan's Inventec is said to be uniquely positioned to meet the production challenges of AirPods 3, thanks to its extensive assembly experiences, giving the manufacturer a better chance of winning assembly orders from Apple than China's Luxshare Precision. As it stands, the assemblers command an equal share of orders for AirPods 2, which launched just last month.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has also claimed that Apple's third-generation AirPods could include noise cancellation features, as well as a new design, and perhaps improved water resistance that will allow the AirPods to hold up to "splashes of water and rain." However, Gurman believes that AirPods 3 won't be coming until 2020, based on his understanding that Apple's second-generation AirPods were delayed by a year, which has pushed back the earbuds' launch cycle.

Apple released AirPods 2 in March with optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri functionality. For all the details on what's different between the first-gen and second-gen AirPods models, check out our dedicated comparison guide.

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

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17 weeks ago
Please erase DIGITIMES as rumour source
Digitimes last time said airpower is in mass production
Rating: 26 Votes
17 weeks ago
Don't noise cancelling headphones need to seal in one way or other? That sort of rules out AirPods without a design change before its begun.
Rating: 14 Votes
17 weeks ago
My guess is they postponed launch of AirPods 2 to try to finish up and release the AirPower, but when they realized that wasn't going to happen, they finally released them. I bet the AirPods 3 have been in development since early last year when the AirPods 2 were finished.
Rating: 10 Votes
17 weeks ago

Noise cancelation is overrated. The only time I'd want it is if I'm on a plane or very loud metro, but to walk around the city with such headphones one must be a complete moron.

Living in a city environment with lots of noise everywhere what’s the point of wearing AirPods when you cannot comfortably hear the music ? The only way to do so is by turning up the volume loud and most likely to levels that could cause hearing damage. Doesn’t seem very moronic to want to protect your hearing.
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago

Don't noise cancelling headphones need to seal in one way or other? That sort of rules out AirPods without a design change before its begun.


No. What you are refering to is PASSIVE Noise cancellation. While it works better to combine active and passive noise cancellation, it is not necessary per se.
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Please erase DIGITIMES as rumour source
Digitimes last time said airpower is in mass production


Who said it wasn't? Maybe they were starting production and then realized they couldn't get the potential flaws under control.
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My guess is they postponed launch of AirPods 2 to try to finish up and release the AirPower, but when they realized that wasn't going to happen, they finally released them. I bet the AirPods 3 have been in development since early last year when the AirPods 2 were finished.


I would agree with that. I guess Airpods 2 is a last year product. There are many things pointing to that conclusion such as the conference video that features airpods with Hey Siri months before it was released.
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago
My question is why do they need noise cancellation in the first place? Pods were never about noise cancellation. I personally prefer to hear what’s going on around me while walking down the street so I don’t get run over by someone. Too many idiots out there glued to their phones not paying attention, add noise cancelling headphones = zombie.
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago
This is bogus. Without a seal, it's pointless. If they're going to add NR, they have to fundamentally change the design. That's possible, but seems unlikely.
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago

Noise cancelation is overrated. The only time I'd want it is if I'm on a plane or very loud metro, but to walk around the city with such headphones one must be a complete moron.

Commuting and noisy open-office concepts is where I'm using NC over-ear-headphones and I am glad to own them.

Don't want to wear those big cans when walking around, though, so I'd welcome NC on AirPods for noisy cities of today, if only to allow me to listen to my music without having to crank up the volume to unhealthy levels to squelch the noise.

The current AirPods can barely last 5 hours on a charge. How would that even be possible with noise cancellation?

Make the stem/battery twice as long?

There are quite some AirPod copycat products already on the market, most sporting longer and/or thicker stems. Doesn't look as bad as I expected.

The biggest challenge in NC is human voice and irregular sounds. Rule of thumb: The higher the frequency and the more irregular the noise, the more difficult it is to process.

If Apple would accept the compromise to deliver an NC that works well for constant noises (such as traffic, train rattling, AC, Airplane engines etc.), but not so well for the above-mentioned challenge areas, the latency may be sufficient to offload the heavy lifting to an iPhone and its recently-aquired DSP. That way the additional power consumption for the AirPods would be minimal.

Besides, not many so-called "NC" headphones really shine for the challenge areas, whereas even the mediocre ones manage to cope quite well with constant noises. If Apple could deliver even the mediocre-level NC in something as small as the AirPods, that'd be a real achievement.
Rating: 5 Votes
17 weeks ago
Sucks for Airpods 2 owners if true.
Rating: 5 Votes
17 weeks ago
They better. AirPods 2 were more like AirPods 1.5.
Rating: 4 Votes

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