The next Apple AirPods have just leaked (and there is good news and bad news)

Apple surprised us all this month with a state-of-the-art press release announcing the new (and very expensive) AirPods Max. They look extremely different from the company’s iconic in-ear buds, but it seems that the extremely popular originals are next in line for an update. However, if new leaks are to be believed, this is not good news for AirPods fans.

According to a Korean technology site, the next iteration of Apple’s basic AirPods will arrive in the first half of next year, with an updated design. And, unfortunately, it looks like they will take a clue from their older siblings over their ears, carrying a surprisingly high price. If you like some AirPods that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, these pre-Christmas AirPods are the best I’ve seen.

AirPods 3

A recent rendering that imagines the next iteration of Apple AirPods (Image credit: Yanko Design)

According to The Elec, the next AirPods will adopt a “Pro Lite” approach (now there is an oxymoron), borrowing the same design as the current AirPods Pro, but giving up some of their more advanced features. Facing the option is the main feature of Pro – active noise cancellation.

We think it’s good news for us that the new AirPods will borrow the Pro design. Rubber-tipped buds are more comfortable and less likely to fall off, while the reduced “stem” is a more subtle and elegant approach to the original. (That being said, rumors suggest that the next iteration of AirPods Pro could completely eliminate the strain.)

Apple AirPods

It is rumored that the next AirPods will borrow the same design as the AirPods Pro (Image credit: Apple)

And now for the bad news. The report suggests that the new AirPods will be only 20% cheaper than the current AirPods Pro, which costs 249 USD / 249 GBP. This would make the AirPods Pro Lite (we never get on board with that name) 199 USD / 199 GBP – which is a pretty big increase in the base AirPods price of 159 USD / 159 GBP. It’s not really a level of stupidity for Mac Pro Wheels, but they sound like a pretty expensive pair of headphones.