Apple AirPods 3 with noise cancellation and over-ear design to launch this year

Just bought a new pair of AirPods? Maybe don't read on...

Apple AirPods 3 Release Date Price

Apple will debut a next-generation pair of its wireless AirPod earbuds with active noise cancellation before the end of the year, according to a new report.

The company announced a minor update to its hugely-successful AirPods – with a new optional case that supports Qi wireless charging and updated H1 chip to ensure faster pairing between Apple hardware – last month. So, it seems really early for Apple to be thinking about another new pair of wireless earbuds.

However, supply chain sources speaking to Digitimes claim Apple is looking to debut a fresh round of its AirPods before the Christmas shopping rush. It seems as if these new wireless earbuds will not replace the AirPods unveiled last month, but offer better audio experience for those willing to pay a premium.

It seems very unlikely that Apple will offer active noise-cancellation in its £159 AirPods. Rival true wireless earbuds that include this feature typically start at higher price points, and Apple usually charges slightly more than its competitors for similar feature sets. For example, the noise-cancelling Sony WF-1000X cost £200 at launch.

The whispers of active noise-cancellation coming to the AirPods tallies with earlier rumours from the supply chain. Previous reports suggest Apple is looking to add biometric sensors to its next-generation AirPods. According to patents filed by the company, these will be “pressed up against a portion of the tragus,” so the AirPods can record heart rate and body temperature, as well as other health metrics. 

The tragus, as we all know, is the sticky-out bit of your ear that is above the lobe, and what Apple's buds sit just behind. The health data will likely be tied into Apple's Health app, which can also record data from the Apple Watch and approved third-party fitness gadgets.

Other rumours have suggested the substantial AirPods redesign will ship in black.