Apple AirPods 4: Release Date, Price, Specs, Rumors and More

Apple AIrPods 4 may be coming earlier than you think.
Apple AIrPods 4 may be coming earlier than you think.

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A quick guide of all the rumors about the Apple AirPods 4, including potential specs and launch date.

Apple AirPods are some of the most popular true wireless earbuds in the world, but they haven’t received a proper upgrade since 2021.

Moreover, there’s no official launch date for the next generation, so users shopping around for earbuds wonder whether they are worth the wait.

Luckily, a few intriguing rumors about the Apple AirPods 4 are going around, and we’ve gathered them in one place for easy access. Let’s dive in!

When Is the AirPods 4 Release Date?

With no official announcement, we estimate the next generation of AirPods to hit the market in late 2024 or early 2025.

It all depends on Apple’s priorities, as the company seems to update its headphones every two or three years:

ModelLaunch date
Apple AirPodsDecember 2016
Apple AirPods 2March 2019
Apple AirPods 3October 2021

Additionally, industry insiders estimate that the next generation of AirPods won’t arrive until mid-2024, with a budget model also in the works. At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether that model will drop before or after the AirPods 4.

What Will the AirPods 4 Look Like?

We expect the AirPods 4 to maintain the minimalistic design the AirPods are known for. That said, tech reporter Mark Gurman revealed that the AirPods 4 will look like a blend of AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2, so they might feature shorter stems and an improved fit.

Unlike the AirPods Pro, AirPods don’t have replaceable ear tips, which makes them more comfortable for some users. We don’t see Apple messing with the product’s compact design, but you never know.

We do know that the AirPods 4 will likely come with a USB-C charging case, as the company is updating its products to comply with European regulations.

What Features Can We Expect From the AirPods 4?

Users can look forward to all the features available with the AirPods 3, including Adaptive EQ, Announce Notifications, Audio Sharing, and Spatial Audio. But, the AirPods 4 will probably feature welcome enhancements:

H2 or H3 chip integration

While AirPods 3 boast the H1 headphone chip, Apple launched the H2 chip with the AirPods Pro 2. The next generation of AirPods will likely feature the upgraded chip or even a H3 version if it becomes available.

The H2 chip ensures better sound quality and more immersive Spatial Audio. Moreover, it supports Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, translating to a more stable connection with the source device.

Despite these potential advancements, we doubt that the AirPods 4 will offer Active Noise Cancellation. We expect Apple to keep that feature exclusive to the AirPods Pro as a point of difference between the two models.

Bluetooth LE Audio Support

Aside from the latest Bluetooth version, we expect the AirPods 4 to support Bluetooth LE Audio technology, along with the LC3 codec.

Support for the technology comes with several perks, including:

  • The ability to connect more than two pairs of AirPods to a device.
  • Better power-efficiency
  • More assistive listening features
  • And even better sound quality and connection stability
It was rumored that the new technology would make its way to AirPods Pro 2, but that turned out not to be the case.

More accurate localization

The AirPods Pro 2 boast a U1 chip for improved Ultra Wideband technology. With a potentially upgraded charging case, there’s a good chance the next generation of AirPods will feature the U1 chip as well, ensuring more accurate localization.

On the same note, Mark Gurman reports that the case will feature a speaker for Find My alerts, like the AirPods Pro 2.

Longer battery life

The AirPods 3 deliver 6 hours of listening time with a single charge. While that’s not bad for the average user, we expect Apple to improve battery life for upcoming models. Popular competitors support up to 12 hours of listening time, so it would be a smart move for the tech giant to make strides in this department.

Apple is reportedly working on advanced features like gesture-based controls, hearing health features, and wireless lossless audio. Nonetheless, we expect these features to be exclusive to more expensive models like the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

What Do Users Want From the AirPods 4?

If you scour forums and social media posts, you’ll notice that users are generally content with their AirPods 3, praising the sound quality and the Spatial Audio feature.

While complaints are rare, some people would like to see certain upgrades in the next model. These include:

How Much Will the Apple AirPods 4 Pro Cost?

As the AirPods 3 with MagSafe Charging Case retail for $179, we expect the next generation to be similarly priced. In other words, somewhere between $150 and $200.

The AirPods Lite are rumored to cost $99 to compete with more affordable wireless earbuds. Depending on features, the AirPods 4 are likely to be more expensive.

Until the newer model hits the market, the AirPods 3 remain a reliable option for users who don’t need advanced features like Active Noise Cancellation. Otherwise, we recommend you save for a pair of AirPods Pro 2, which excel in all departments.

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