When to Expect New AirPods, Including Rumored 'Studio' and 'X' Models
Rumors suggest that Apple plans to expand its AirPods lineup with two new models later this year, including high-end, over-ear "AirPods Studio" and in-ear "AirPods X" with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. This would be followed by refreshes to both the regular AirPods and the AirPods Pro in 2021.
Here is where rumors stand:
- AirPods Studio — Summer or Fall 2020: Apple plans to release high-end over-ear headphones with noise cancellation this year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that mass production of the headphones will begin in mid 2020, with shipments to Apple reportedly set to begin in June or July. The headphones will be named AirPods Studio and retail for $349, according to Jon Prosser, host of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech. Prosser said the headphones could be announced at WWDC 2020, which kicks off June 22.
- AirPods X — Fall 2020: Last month, Prosser claimed that Apple was planning to release so-called "AirPods X" around September or October with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. Kuo acknowledged this rumor, noting that any new AirPods model coming in the second half of 2020 is "more likely to be the new Beats model."
- AirPods — Spring 2021: Third-generation AirPods will enter mass production in the first half of 2021, according to Kuo, suggesting that the regular AirPods will not be refreshed until next year. Kuo expects internal design changes, but he did not indicate if there will be any external changes. The original AirPods launched in December 2016, followed by a second-generation refresh in March 2019.
- AirPods Pro — Fall 2021: Second-generation AirPods Pro will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, according to Kuo, suggesting that a refresh is well over a year away. No further details are known. The current AirPods Pro launched at the end of October 2019.
Keep track of our various AirPods roundups linked below for the latest rumors.
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Top Rated Comments
It was so wonderful. He drew a + and labeled Portable and Stationary vs Pro and Consumer. One product each.
If all these products were to launch, which one would I get my mother?
But, obviously Apple knows what they're doing. Just wish they would simplify and devote time to really makes a few products amazing, rather than spread themselves thin.
I know a lot of people like them so I'm concerned they may replace the original model.
Personal, anecdotal-evidence time: I hate the over-ear hoops of the BeatsX—but I could see if someone were running or doing some sort of HIIT in the gym it would make sense. I prefer over-ear (assuming “Studio”) at home or at work because I’ll wear them 5-8 hours a day and I find it less fatiguing; and Studios should have improved battery life over standard AirPods. Standard AirPods on the go because that’s what I own. I’d never wear a chunky over-ear out on a walk because where do I stow them when I get to the coffee shop? I’m willing to pay for two products to solve these two problems.
It’s up to us to empathize with other users in the ecosystem: perhaps they have mobility issues or some use-case you didn’t think of? That‘s a big portion of a designer’s job and design-thinking. My 85-year-old aunt has arthritic hands and can’t handle the AirPods Pro but appreciates the ANC noise reduction.
Your (our, everyone’s) tolerance for cost or desire for additional purchases may differ from mine and that’s okay. Both opinions are valid.
Given Apple’s tens of thousands of engineers and the IP already having been developed via Beats, is it that much of a distraction to further include others in the userbase?
THIS. The Pencil point is a good one. I think there’s far more valid confusion over Pencil 1 vs Pencil 2 support than “do I buy over ear vs in-ear headphones?” At least the Logitech Crayon is targeted at kids (etc) who have differing dexterity than adults and makes a clear case for its existence.