In context: Apple's AirPods are among the most popular TWS earbuds on the planet, with millions of pairs being sold every year. Originally announced in 2016, the AirPods line has since expanded to include multiple models, many of which have become ubiquitous in streets, shopping malls, schools, colleges, and offices around the world.
With some of the AirPods models getting a little long in the tooth, Apple is reportedly planning to release new versions over the next couple of years. The news comes from Bloomberg, which claims that all three existing AirPods models are in line for upgrades. Starting with the entry-level AirPods, it could be replaced by two new models in 2024, including a base version without active noise cancellation (ANC) and a more premium variant with more features, including ANC.
Following the launch of the two new AirPods models, Apple is said to discontinue both the second-gen and third-gen AirPods that are currently on sale. The two new models are tipped to have a similar design with shorter stems, but neither is likely to include replaceable silicone ear tips. In addition to ANC, the more premium model could also have a similar charging case as the second-gen AirPods Pro, with integrated speakers for Find My support. Both models are likely to ship with USB-C connectivity.
Another device that could launch next year is the next-gen AirPods Max. The new noise-cancelling headphones could get a USB-C charging port and a number of color options, which would be a welcome change from the first-gen model that was launched back in 2020. However, it may not have many more changes, which could disappoint users looking to upgrade from the first-gen Max.
That leaves the AirPods Pro, which the report claims will be refreshed in 2025. There's no word on what to expect from the updated model, but it should have a few new features that could make it stand out from the base models. Apple updated its latest AirPods Pro with a USB-C port this year and also rolled out a plethora of new AI-based software features, including Adaptive Audio, Conversation Awareness and Personalized Volume, which significantly change how noise-canceling works on the earbuds. The next-gen AirPods Pro will likely improve on some of those aspects to offer an enhanced audio experience.