Apple AirPods 2 are out in the world and it seems like our attention has already moved on. What’s next? It looks like sweat-resistant AirPods are out of the question, at least for the time being with the impending arrival of the Beats Powerbeats Pro this summer, but rumors suggest AirPods 3 could have a noise cancellation feature. If the latest report by DigiTimes is to be believed, AirPods 3 could also arrive as soon as the holiday season.
So, how much will noise-canceling AirPods cost?
The easy answer: more than current AirPods ($159+). The truth is, however, that there’s really no much to compare them with. The only true wireless earbuds with noise-cancellation are the Sony WF-SP700N ($180), but as I’ve written in my review, the noise-cancellation feature doesn’t actually work well (if at all). The best wireless in-ear noise-canceling headphones are still made by Bose. The QuietControl 30 are technically “neck buds” meaning they have a wire that connects the two individual earbuds are wraps behind your neck — and they cost $300 (although they’re over a year old and you can find them online for a little less).
If I were to speculate, noise-canceling AirPods would probably cost in-or-around the $250 mark. They could cost as much as $300. They’ll be expensive, for sure, but people will most definitely pay for them. AirPods are by far the most popular true wireless earbuds in the world — they command 75-percent of the global market share for true wireless earbuds — and noise-cancellation would fix one of peoples’ biggest gripes with them: that they let outside sounds and therefore aren’t great for busy commuters and travelers.
It’s worth questioning these latest AirPods 3 rumors, however. It took Apple over two years to release a second-generation of their popular wireless earbuds, so even with all their success, it’s tough to imagine that the company will turn around a third-generation version in well under a year. Apple has also gone out of its way to ensure the new AirPods look exactly like the originals, even with the extra features and processing power; it’s tough to imagine that AirPods 3, with all the extra components required for noise-cancellation, will be identical. Most likely, they’ll be chunkier.
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