Next-gen AirPods Max and cheap AirPods Lite could launch in 2024

Apple AirPods 3 wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's range of wireless headphones has arguably never looked or sounded better. And if the latest rumours are anything to go by, there could be a couple of interesting additions on the horizon.

Well, when we say horizon, we're talking a bit further away than a month or two. At least that's what we're being led to believe by the reputable analyst (and leaker) Ming-Chi Kuo. He posted on Twitter that he believes a new pair of in-ear AirPods will likely ship in the second half of 2024 or the first half of 2025.

He also suggested that they would cost $99 which would be a new, cheaper price point for Apple's wireless earbuds. Currently, the cheapest pair on sale through Apple are the AirPods 2 which retail for $129 / £139 / AU$219. Launching a pair under $100 would certainly raise a few eyebrows and make for uncomfortable reading for some rival manufacturers who have been fighting hard to secure their own share of the budget earbuds market.

This news follows a report at the start of January by analyst Jeff Pu that also claimed Apple is working on a cheap pair of earbuds that he referred to as 'AirPods Lite'.

But, back to Kuo, who also claims a new version of the AirPods Max are likely to launch around the same time as the earbuds. The original AirPods Max launched in 2020 so it's not beyond reason to expect either a new AirPods Max 2 or potentially a cheaper version given the current pair officially cost £549 / $549 / AU$899. That would certainly give Sony, Bose et al even greater food for thought.


Read our Apple AirPods Max review

And our Apple AirPods 3 review

Our pick of the best AirPods you can buy

And, if you want more choices, the best wireless headphones

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.