Apple’s next AirPods Pro may ditch the stem to be more compact

Apple’s next AirPods Pro may ditch the stem to be more compact

Also coming are new entry-level AirPods and over-ear headphones

Apple will reportedly introduce two new sets of true wireless earbuds next year, according to a Bloomberg report. The more expensive model will be a redesigned pair of AirPods Pro coming in the early part of next year. In addition, Apple is reportedly making new entry-level AirPods, along with over-ear headphones.

The new AirPods Pro will allegedly eliminate the stem that sticks out from the bottom, giving them a design that’s similar to Samsung’s latest true wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live. However, Apple has reportedly run into issues fitting everything into a smaller package, which could result in a less ambitious design, Bloomberg said.

As for the new entry-level AirPods, the report claims they’ll include improved battery life and look similar to the current AirPods Pro with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips. While they’ll look similar to the current AirPods Pro, the entry-level model will still lack high-end features such as active noise cancellation. Both new AirPods earbuds will reportedly feature a new wireless chip.

Bloomberg’s report also claims Apple is planning to introduce high-end, noise-canceling over-ear headphones, which were originally expected to go into production weeks ago. The headphones have allegedly been pushed back due to problems with the headband being too tight. The report also claims some of the headphone’s features had to be scaled back, including touch panels that were reduced in size.

Finally, the same Bloomberg report said Apple is entertaining the idea of releasing a third HomePod speaker, slotting it between the HomePod and HomePod mini. There is a possibility, however, that Apple could simply cut the price of the HomePod ($299), instead of introducing a new product altogether.

Since its release in 2016, Apple’s AirPods line has become one of the company’s most successful products, setting the standard for true wireless earbuds. Apple then released the AirPods Pro in 2019 with active noise cancellation and a more compact design. However, there’s been increased competition from the likes of Samsung, Bose, Google, and dozens of other audio accessory makers over the last few years, so Apple is seemingly hoping its new models will stave off the competition.

Featured image: Huawei FreeBuds Pro (left), Apple AirPods Pro (right)

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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.