New AirPods 3 concept imagines noise-cancelling design

New AirPods 3 concept image shows noise-cancelling design
(Image credit: Rieplhuber)

The notion that Apple's next AirPods will come with noise cancelling technology has long been on the cards. Now, an icon's been spotted in the new iOS 13.2 software update, codenamed B298, which reveals that the next pair could indeed boast noise-cancelling as well as water-resistant tech. It also shows what they'll (sort of) look like.

As found and reported by 9to5Mac, other information gleaned from the OS update suggests that the new AirPods will have different listening modes, with or without noise cancelling, which is being called “focus mode”.

The icon and a subsequently released concept design (pictured, top) by graphic designer Michael Rieplhuber, both look very similar to images shared on SlashLeaks (pictured, below) last month of what was described as an AirPods 3 prototype.

(Image credit: 52audio)

Rieplhuber’s concept imagines the new AirPods with what appears to be replaceable rubbers on each earpiece – although of course, we can't say for sure. 

What we can say is that the fresh model leak is timely, coming just a day after Microsoft unveiled its futuristic earbuds that also boast noise cancelling – the Surface Earbuds.

Rumours abound over when Apple will launch its latest AirPods, with fingers pointing at an event as early as next month. Doubtless many iPhone 11 users are hoping to get a real-life glimpse of them soon. Plus, if that happens, the second generation models might feature heavily during Black Friday... 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.