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There’s good and bad news for Apple’s big new AirPods refresh

Details about Apple’s upcoming AirPods Pro and AirPods were leaked, with the Cupertino company reportedly aiming to reduce its wireless headphones, among other improvements. Both models are expected to use a newer version of Apple’s wireless chipset, although there is also bad news about the company’s first headphones, which have long been the subject of speculation.

Previous leaks have identified those like Apple AirPods Studio, the brand that is expanding from headphones to an over-the-head design. Initially, it was said to have a modular design, with interchangeable components, such as headphones boxes and headband. Sporty and more luxurious versions were also tipped.

Apple AirPods Pro spatial audio: What it is and how to use it - Business  Insider
source: Business Insider

However, Apple is believed to have planned – and later discarded – several development dates for AirPods Studio, and even now the most recent timeline has been reportedly broken. Noise-canceling headphones should have gone into production several weeks ago, reports Bloomberg, but concerns about the fit of the bandana have derailed that. Now, sources familiar with the fitted design say that the headband is unlikely to be replaceable – although the cushions are still – while the cushions on the external headphones are smaller than originally planned.

Meanwhile, Apple is working on the second generation AirPods Pro and third generation AirPods. The first ones are expected to be smaller in size, eliminating the rod that hangs from the user’s ear. The challenges, however, in making a fully in-ear design that still includes the necessary electronics, microphones and batteries, may seem a little too ambitious.

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As for the new basic AirPods, they could hit the market as early as the first half of 2021, it is suggested. They are believed to have borrowed a bit of AirPods Pro style, with a shorter stem. Interchangeable ear tips are also believed to be on the cards, along with an increase in battery life. Active noise cancellation, however, will be reserved for the most expensive headphones.

Inside both will be new wireless chipsets, which Apple itself is designing. This will follow the W1 and H1 chips that were used in Apple’s audio products – and selected Beats Audio products – from the original AirPods, and which handle audio processing and Bluetooth connectivity. It is unclear what the new chip will add to the feature set, although Apple has pushed UWB (Ultra Wideband) in recent products with its U1 chipset, which adds directional awareness. UWB technology is expected to appear in the next AirTags tracking tags.

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