Apple’s next version of AirPods are expected to have noise-cancellation capabilities, and the new iOS 13.2 beta offers an early preview of what they’ll look like. As discovered by 9to5Mac, the beta build contains a glyph image of the upcoming AirPods. It’s just a 2D gray-and-white icon, but even that is enough to show that design changes are on the way.
The noise-canceling AirPods seem to have traditional ear tips that extend out from the white stems for a better fit in your ears. That’s a change from the first two models, which rest in your ears and allow in a lot of ambient noise.
If Apple wants to offer noise cancellation, it’ll have to move closer to a design that creates a seal with your ear and reduces the loudness of sounds around you. More and more companies are building noise cancellation and reduction into their wireless earbuds to set them apart from the first couple waves of this product category. Sony’s 1000XM3 earbuds have NC built in, and Amazon borrowed Bose technology to integrate noise reduction into the upcoming Echo Buds. Huawei says its latest FreeBuds manage to achieve noise cancellation with an open-fit design.
9to5Mac reports that iOS 13.2 contains references to a “focus mode,” which can be toggled on or off. This might be the name that Apple gives its noise-cancellation feature.
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman pointed out on Twitter that the glyph resembles a supposed AirPods leak from a few months ago. The hardware indeed seems to line up (with a hole where the eartips would go), but who knows.
Apple could unveil the next-generation AirPods at an event later this month, where the company could also introduce a new 16-inch MacBook, new iPad Pros, and a Tile-like personal item tracker.
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