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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared images from Chinese site 52audio of what appears to be redesigned third-generation AirPods.


According to translated text that accompanied the images, the first image supposedly depicts a single "earphone shell" and the "charging cockpit shell." The earbud itself seems to be completely redesigned compared to the first and second-generation AirPods, with a larger, rounder shape.

The third-generation AirPods are described as "a scaled-down version of AirPods Pro," with the "internal structure of the headset and charging box" being "basically the same."

A render of the two earbuds shows that they have clearly taken design cues from AirPods Pro, with shorter stems and a larger in-ear portion, but without the AirPods Pro's detachable in-ear tips.


The third-generation AirPods will also apparently gain "pressure-sensitive touch" controls from AirPods Pro, and this is indicated by depressions in the stem. Without in-ear tips, it is unlikely that they could achieve Active Noise Cancelation, which could serve to differentiate the two models.

Third-generation AirPods have been rumored for some time. The report states that the "AirPods Pro Lite" that were rumored earlier this year were in fact third-generation AirPods.

A recent report by Bloomberg surmised that third-generation AirPods would arrive next year with a design similar to ‌AirPods Pro‌, but minus high-end features such as Active Noise Cancelation.

Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that third-generation AirPods will launch in the first half of 2021 with a design and compact system-in-package "similar to AirPods Pro." Manufacturers are also reportedly preparing for a 2021 launch.

Although the legitimacy of these images is not yet known, the similarity of the alleged images to a range of leaks from reliable sources is striking. The chances of the images being genuine may also be enhanced by the fact they were shared by DuanRui, who has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design.

Update: We've removed an x-ray image shared by 52audio that is clearly just a squished version of the AirPods Pro case. The original report did note that the "authenticity of this picture is in doubt," while the legitimacy of the other images included in the report remains unclear.

Article Link: Alleged Images of AirPods 3 With 'Pro' Design Shared Online [Updated]
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macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2013
There you go everyone. I said at the time not to panic just because they were using the same design didn’t mean they would be in ear.
Sure, but just because someone has posted some photoshopped images it doesn't mean it is going to happen.

Those are Pros without the rubber bit. I'd be curious for someone to try their Pros without the rubber and see how they (most likely don't) sit in the ear.
In any case, it is pretty obvious that the case and the earphone in the first photo just don't match. I am not sure what they were trying to prove.


Sep 14, 2012
Looks like these are replacing the AirPods original style. I feel bad for people who cant use the Pro style and have to use this one. They might fall out.
Yes they are moving away from Jonny Ive design......not good idea. I have to use Foam Tips for my Pro. I have a feeling if Ive was doing this, it would be totally different.
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macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
After owning 2nd gen airpods and now just getting the recently released Beats flex, I think I much prefer the lack of the spongey tip even if it means loss of noise cancelling.
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