Unlike most Apple devices, the company's AirPods line has always been slower in terms of its upgrades with new models usually arriving years after the previous generation. Now, a fresh report hinted at the new AirPods 4 and AirPods Max 2 arriving in 2024, followed by the AirPods Pro 3 a year after that.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman revealed in his latest newsletter about Apple's plan to refresh its AirPods wireless headphones catalog in the coming years. It was detailed that there will be two AirPods 4 models, and these will launch at the end of 2024 alongside the AirPods Max 2. Meanwhile, he only sees the successor to the AirPods Pro 2 (review) arriving in 2025.
Apple AirPods 4 with ANC and AirPods SE
As for the specifics, the correspondent believes the AirPods 4 will be offered in two models and will receive an updated design that will borrow visual cues from the AirPods Pro, such as a shorter stem and rounder ear cups. He added the two models will be differentiated by a few key features with the more expensive pair possibly gaining active noise cancellation (ANC) and Find My integration in addition to USB-C charging.
There was also an earlier report that mentioned an even cheaper AirPods that will be priced around the sub-$100 region, dubbed as the AirPods SE, will be introduced on a similar timetable. Thus, the cheaper earbuds could likely end up as the first 'SE' wireless earbuds from the iPhone manufacturer.
Possible Apple AirPods Max 2 release date
The AirPods Max 2 might actually be one of the more highly anticipated Apple hardware in the near future, with previous reports suggesting Apple may announce the premium over-ears Bluetooth headphones in the last quarter of 2023. However, it seems this is now pushed back further as Gurman noted the AirPods Max 2 might only be ready sometime at the end of 2024.
Not much else is known about the features and specifications of the AirPods Max 2. However, it is safe to say it could share some features with the Beats Studio Pro like having lossless audio support via USB-C. It may also add the second-generation ultrawide band chipset for a more precise Find My tracking, similar to the Watch Ultra 2 (review).
AirPods Pro 3 with health tracking capabilities
Lastly, Gurman believes the AirPods Pro 3 will only launch in 2025 and that might be logical for Apple's timing as the AirPods Pro 2 was only officially released last year.
What's interesting though, is how the Apple leaker highlighted new health-oriented tracking capabilities that can be found in Apple's smartwatches. This lends weight to the previous rumor of the upcoming AirPods Pro featuring heart rate and temperature sensors.
What else would you like to see added to the next-generation of Apple AirPods? Do you think Apple should also integrate new high-res Bluetooth codecs? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.