AirPods are so popular you cannot blame Apple for not making radical changes to the range. But that’s all about to change, because Apple itself just accidentally leaked a very different new AirPods model.
Apple made this mistake in the latest beta version of iOS 14.3. Spotted by 9to5Mac, Apple has added a new icon to the release’s internal system files showing an illustration of the first AirPods over-ear headphones. And the design has caught (almost) everyone out.
Following leaks of an extreme minimalist design earlier this year from popular Apple tipster Jon Prosser, Apple’s new AirPods icon instead shows a much more conservative design. Prosser has expressed surprise at the discovery, noting Apple has used different placeholders in the past, though with headphones tipped to arrive in early 2021 the design will now be finalized and the time for placeholders should have passed.
The reason I say “almost” everyone, however, is because Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman appears to have nailed it. Back in April, he said AirPods Studio would have “a retro look with oval-shaped ear cups that swivel and a headband connected by thin, metal arms” which ties in. Gurman also commented on 9to5Mac’s discovery pointing that this was “one of my better description jobs”.
Assuming Gurman is correct, Apple’s AirPods Studio will be a big departure for the company. Gurman has stated that they will come in two versions (“premium leather-like” and “fitness-focused”) with wireless pairing and noise cancellation and a modular design that uses magnetic ear pads for easy replacement and customization. They will also be the most expensive AirPods ever made, starting at around $350.
Yes, it’s a lot but I expect AirPods Studio to pack plenty of clever tricks to help them live up to this asking price. For example, given Apple’s newfound love of magnets, it would be no surprise if AirPods Studio are MagSafe compatible and that’s a lot cooler than any other headphones charging we have seen before.