Report: New AirPods to feature same design as the AirPods Pro—without ANC

Whenever I ask someone why they love AirPods so much, the answer is usually a vague response that has something to do with the Apple ecosystem, and the quality of the TWS headphones. However, a combination of marketing and design work has led to something altogether more baffling: the AirPods as a status symbol.

Still, Apple revamped the iconic design of the AirPods with the AirPods Pro, incorporating a new in-ear design where rubber tips sit within the ear. This, arguably, has a lot to do with the Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology featured on the AirPods Pro—a first for Apple headphones at the time. The AirPods, meanwhile, continued to maintain its traditional form-factor through two generations.

However, Digitimes claims that the successor to the AirPods is on its way, and it will look a lot like the current AirPods Pro. However, it will be missing one of the headlining features of the AirPods Pro: Active Noise Cancelling technology. While the report calls the upcoming product “AirPods Pro”, it seems likely that the only thing “pro” about them will be the design of the headphones.

Not much else is available in the way of concrete details yet, but if the new AirPods don’t feature noise-cancelling technology, it will certainly leave many users disappointed. Many of the TWS offerings in the market today offer ANC capabilities, which improve the versatility of the headphones. This is especially true when travelling (have you ever tried ANC headphones on an airplane?). 

The new AirPods are supposedly set to be released during May 2020, although the launch could be moved to a later date due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Issues with travel, primarily, have contributed to a delayed release:

“Apple may have to defer the launch of its new AirPods Pro to the second half of 2020 or even 2021, according to sources at related suppliers. Apple originally planned to unveil the new AirPods Pro in May 2020, but the schedule may be pushed back, as Apple has been unable to send staff to the production lines in Asia to inspect the status of the TWS earbuds due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

The folks over at Digitimes have also referred to an entry-level “AirPods Lite” in the past, although there hasn’t been anything to confirm that rumour just yet. For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Apple’s next set of AirPods look like—and what they will be called.

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