Next iPad Pro Will Have Fewer Speaker Holes According to Accessory Maker

Apple is widely expected to announce new iPad Pro models as early as April, and ahead of time, accessory maker ESR has added a variety of 2021 iPad Pro cases and folios to its online store that offer some potential design clues.

esr ipad pro cases
While the cases suggest that the next-generation iPad Pro will not have any significant design changes, ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models. This lines up with a report from Japanese website Mac Otakara, which in January claimed that the number of speaker holes on the new iPad Pro models will be reduced by one third, although the reason for this supposed change is unclear.

A one-third reduction would work out as follows:

  • 11-inch iPad Pro: 13 holes per speaker → 8-9 holes per speaker
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 17 holes per speaker → 11-12 holes per speaker

The new iPad Pro models are still expected to feature four speakers for stereo sound, with two on the top edge and two on the bottom edge.

The new iPad Pro models are expected to be equipped with a faster A14X chip that is virtually identical to the M1 chip in the latest Macs. Last week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that the new models could also feature Thunderbolt support, which is certainly plausible given that the M1 chip supports Thunderbolt on Macs. Gurman also expects improved cameras and a Mini-LED display on at least the 12.9-inch model.

Mac Otakara reported that the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be approximately 0.5mm thicker, whereas the 11-inch model will apparently have the same thickness, further suggesting that a Mini-LED display could be exclusive to the larger model.

The new iPad Pro is also expected to support 5G with a Qualcomm modem in cellular models.

esr airpods 3 case
As noted by French website iPhoneSoft, ESR has also listed new cases for third-generation AirPods that suggest Apple's wireless charging case will be slightly elongated, as previously rumored. The new AirPods are expected to have a similar design as the AirPods Pro, but without Active Noise Cancellation or silicone ear tips to maintain differentiation.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

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Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
43 months ago

Less speakers worst sound. I honestly think the new iPad Pro should have more speakers. It gives you better sound and sound quality.
Fewer speakers doesn't equate to worse sound. Apple could use a higher quality speaker to deliver better sound. We don't know. Fewer speakers just equates to fewer speakers. If true, I'd be more inclined to think Apple would be using a higher quality component instead of offering degraded sound on their top tablet offering.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kdawg'sDad Avatar
43 months ago
“ESR informed MacRumors that there will be fewer speaker holes on the new models.”

I‘m confused. Reducing by 2/3’s means -8 or -11 speaker holes in the grills, not down to 8 or 9 and 11 or 12 holes in the grills.

Also, the article says holes in the speaker grills, not number of, nor quality of, nor quantity of the SPEAKERS changing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlexESP Avatar
43 months ago
I hope they don’t start following the path of iPhones/Macs and make iPad gradually thicker and thicker. It feels really great right now, and it’s important in such a big device.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
43 months ago

Less speakers worst sound. I honestly think the new iPad Pro should have more speakers. It gives you better sound and sound quality.
It Will have the same number of speakers. Just fewer holes per speaker.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
43 months ago
as long as the sound is not affected.....its ok...maybe fewer holes but bigger
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Koivari Avatar
43 months ago
I sure hope that one of those remaining holes will be 3,5 millimeters wide.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)