Is Apple releasing new AirPods in 2024? New AirPods models and features we want

Apple's June 'Dub Dub' event might bring new AirPods at last

Apple AirPods 3
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has pinned its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 to a date, so we now know when the brand be showing off a new generation of its features to the public and developers - starting on 10 June.

Alongside software updates and the looming likelihood of artificial intelligence (AI) features, though, there have been plenty of signs that we're due a new generation of AirPods - although sources vary on which models will be getting upgrades. 

If we are going to see new AirPods models revealed at WWDC, though, we've got a laundry list of things we'd like to see from each of the three models in the range. 

Entry-level AirPods with ANC

Apple AirPods 3rd Gen review

(Image credit: Future)

For a long time, the difference between standard AirPods and the more expensive AirPods Pro has been seriously obvious - the latter is truly in-ear and has active noise-cancelling (ANC). 

While leaving ANC out of the standard AirPods has been fine for the three generations we've had so far, in 2024 it's less of a good look. Affordable earbuds have brought ANC to the table from a variety of competitors, with Nothing's in-ear options flying the flag particularly well. 

So, if Apple is planning a new version of the most affordable new AirPods, we really hope it has managed to make ANC work at its lowest price point. This likely means an in-ear tip is a necessity. 

While this might disappoint those who actually like the casual lack of isolation offered by previous AirPods models, there's nothing stopping those from remaining on sale to fulfil that niche. 

AirPods Pro with meaningful additions

AirPods Pro review

(Image credit: Future)

Apple might be in a bit more awkward a spot when it comes to the AirPods Pro, which remain a superb pick even if you're still using the first-generation version (like this writer). 

They're brilliantly convenient, and their ANC is great, all paired with battery life that went from solid to good between the first and second generations. So, especially if it adds ANC to the basic AirPods, how can Apple make a new third-gen AirPods Pro actually worth picking up?

Well, as basic as it sounds, that good battery life could still stand to be great, and last you through a full day without any issues. Plus, other companies like JBL have shown that the case they're stored in has way more potential than it currently uses.

While we're not sure we'd want a full miniature display as JBL has offered for its earbuds, others might find that enticing, and it would certainly look more "Pro" than the standard offering. 

More likely, though, are the addition of health features, as Apple becomes an ever bigger player in that space. Earbuds can quite easily measure your body temperature, and with hearing tests could also be on the agenda. This could make a pair of third-generation AirPods Pros the latest addition to any health tech arsenal. 

AirPods Max for the masses

Apple AirPods Max review

(Image credit: Future)

When the AirPods Max first arrived, the reception was pretty easy to predict - their absolutely brilliant sound and ease of use were praised, while their price point was derided.

In the years since, they've nonetheless become pretty successful, and very recognisable compared to more generic-looking but still excellent headphones from the likes of Sony, Sennheiser and Bose

Now, though, the focus moves to their charging port, which remains a Lightning one at a time when Apple has nearly abandoned that standard. So, a USB-C AirPods Max seems all but inevitable - and that'll be a welcome addition. 

We're hoping for even further improved audio and ANC to again be class-leading, but our biggest wish isn't a very surprising one - we'd love it if Apple found a way to slash the asking price.

After all, if it keeps the same overall design then Apple will have had its supply chain in order for years now to make these headphones, and their £500/$549 price still feels like a pretty staggering ask compared to the competition. 

If that price went down by £/$100, it would make a titanic difference in affordability and probably send shivers down the spines of executives at Sony and the rest. Even a cut half as substantial would be hugely welcome, though. 

Battery life improvements and the addition of a case that doesn't look silly - or a folding mechanism that works to make them actually smaller - would be fabulous, but it's the price that would change things the most. The first-gen AirPods Max have fallen out of our list of the best ANC headphones, but a price cut for a new generation could change that. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.