AirPods 4 to Get New Design, Updated Case, and Active Noise Cancellation

Apple in 2024 will introduce a fourth-generation version of the AirPods with a number of new features to make the earbuds more appealing to consumers, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reiterated today in his weekly Power On newsletter.

AirPods Fourth Generation Feature Purple Triad
There will be two versions of the AirPods 4 that are available at two different price points, with Apple aiming to replace both the AirPods 3 and the lower-priced AirPods 2 that it continues to sell. As of now, there is little difference between the AirPods 2 and ‌AirPods 3‌ beyond the design, which Gurman says is confusing to customers and costs Apple money when consumers opt for the cheaper model.

‌AirPods 4‌ will streamline the available AirPods options. The earbuds will feature an updated design, which Gurman outlined in October. The new AirPods are expected to look like a cross between the current AirPods and the AirPods Pro, with shorter stems. Fit is expected to be improved, but it is as of yet unclear if Apple will add silicone ear tips.

A redesigned case will include speakers for Find My alerts, and a USB-C charging port rather than a Lightning port. The higher-end version of the AirPods will feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which has to date been limited to the ‌AirPods Pro‌. It will allow customers to get ANC at a more affordable price point.

In a software update coming later next year, Apple will add hearing aid functionality, allowing AirPods to serve as an over-the-counter (OTC) hearing alternative to traditional hearing aids. The FDA in 2022 approved OTC hearing aid options, paving the way for Apple to market the AirPods for hearing loss. Gurman has said that Apple also plans to offer hearing tests that would tell AirPods users if they are experiencing hearing loss.

The ‌AirPods 4‌ will launch in 2024, perhaps around September when Apple unveils new iPhone models. Apple is also planning for a new version of the AirPods Max in 2024, but the update will be limited to new colors and the addition of a USB-C charging port.

Apple's more expensive ‌AirPods Pro‌ will be refreshed in 2025, with Apple set to introduce an updated design "focused on comfort" and a faster chip.

Related Roundups: AirPods 3, AirPods Pro
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

jonnyb098 Avatar
10 weeks ago
The Gen 2 are still most comfortable for my ears. Gen 3 hurt just like the pros because of the giant bulbous design. Just give us a gen 2 like fit with new tech…
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
10 weeks ago
I hear the music playback starts slowing down when it's time to push new AirPod sales. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
10 weeks ago
I’ve been waiting for this fourth gen regular AirPods, as someone who doesn’t like to feel the rubber tips pressing inside my ear canal, for this reasons:

- I expect them to finally be updated to Bluetooth 5.3 like the current Apple devices, enabling a better connection, a seamless and faster transition from one device to another, and an improvement in battery/range/sound quality.

- I was expecting them to have a motion sensor, to improve the collection of my fitness data, in order to measure my movements in a more accurate way.

I’m going to sell my gen 2 AirPods in order to purchase the fourth gen as soon as they are available. Nice to read about the Noise Cancelling feature, as long as it doesn’t require a rubber tip inside my ear canal! But it is not a feature I would upgrade for, as I already have a noise cancelling Beats Solo Pro.

PS: if Apple adds the silicone tips, and aren’t optional but a requirement for wearing them, I’ll get a pair of AirPods 3. No problem.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
10 weeks ago
i'll wait for next airpod pros.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dz5b609 Avatar
10 weeks ago
I sincerely hope it stays the current earbud design, that's the entire reason I have them (along a set of airpods pro). I really don't see how making them in-ears makes any sense in the lineup with the pros.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
10 weeks ago

The Gen 2 are still most comfortable for my ears. Gen 3 hurt just like the pros because of the giant bulbous design. Just give us a gen 2 like fit with new tech…
I don’t think it’s possible to do ANC with that design since your ear holes aren’t blocked.

I agree though that they should continue to sell one modeled like the AirPods 2 because some people simply prefer that.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...