New Beats Pill leaks beside a basketball legend’s pants

If you want to see the future of tech, keep an eye on sporting celebrities' trousers

Apparent unreleased Beats Pill speaker
(Image credit: Instagram)

If you want to find out about unreleased tech products, forget about leakers on X or on Weibo: all you need to do is follow some celebrities on Instagram. That's how the existence of the new, unreleased Beats Pill Bluetooth speaker has made it into the news courtesy of NBA legend LeBron James.

The speaker was spotted by MacRumors on the Los Angeles Lakers' Instagram feed, where it posted a reel featuring James swinging what is very clearly some kind of Beats Pill speaker alongside his right leg. We know it's different because it's got a lanyard on it for the aforementioned swinging; the current Beats Pill doesn't. 

This looks awfully like paid placement, which suggests that a launch for the new Beats Pill could be fairly imminent: there's no point in getting people talking about your celebrity endorsement if people can't then go and get the product. 

What to expect from the 2024 Beats Pill speaker

We can't divine very much about the tech from a single passing appearance, but we can make some informed predictions. USB-C charging is a given, and we'll be amazed if it doesn't sound much better, connect more quickly and reliably and deliver better battery life too. Bluetooth and battery technologies have both advanced significantly in the many years since the first Pill was launched.

That's because in the world of Bluetooth audio the Beats Pill is pretty much a pensioner: the first Beats Pill came out in 2012, the Beats Pill XL was launched in 2014 and the most recent version, the Beats Pill+, was introduced way back in 2015 as the first Pill to be made under the then-new Apple ownership. It was discontinued in 2022 and while there are still a few floating around in online retailers it's not something you should consider buying.

When the Beats Pill+ launched it was one of the most expensive devices in its class, and even then it wasn't necessarily the best in its class. So when you consider what the best Bluetooth speakers can do now compared to the ones of nine years ago, predicting better Bluetooth, battery life and sound quality is pretty much a slam dunk.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (