3 AirPods upgrades I want Apple to make this year

My AirPods 3 wishlist: Everything I hope Apple changes this year
Apple Airpods Pro

AirPods (left) and AirPods Pro (right). This year the original AirPods can adopt the Pro Look.

Sara Tew / CNET

Apple’s new AirPods may be ready in 2021. After a year of being stuck in my house and trying to get things done, AirPods have become a practically essential tool. Plenty of other excellent Bluetooth earbuds exist, but the AirPods are still impressive and have really good microphones. Also, being able to swap from one ear to another has helped me extend battery life in a way through long meetings.

Second-gen Airpods Are about two years old, while AirPods Pro is over a year old, And has continued to develop. Apple Added spatial audio In 2020, and massively expensive Airpods max Arrived with a different offer (I like small earbuds, not big headphones), so what will AirPods 3 bring? And what do I want? For me, it’s mostly about better connections.

AirPods Pro Light Buds can turn all AirPods into Pro Looks

The latest reports state that third-gen AirPods will look like pros, reducing active noise cancellation and spatial audio characteristics. Which means that they will have shorter trunks and earrings that change into different sizes.

I appreciate the AirPod Pro design and its understated look, but I have mixed feelings about the eartips. The deeper in-ear seal sounds off for better noise-blocking, but I appreciate the original’s easier and more pass-through-friendly design for casual call-monitoring. Maybe Apple will split the difference somehow.

AirPods Pro Lite can be more expensive than second-gen AirPods, which is not ideal at all. Perhaps they provide better sound or better battery life to make it possible worth collision.


AirPods Pro has pass-through audio and noise cancellation. Do not do all that on entry-level AirPods, but can be expected over a Bluetooth connection.

Angela Lang / CNET

I want AirPods to do device-swap more easily

Apple’s latest iOS 14 And big Sur OS updates have helped AirPods to auto-connect faster for Apple devices, but I still feel like I have to pair AirPods during zoom-FaceTime. Sometimes I also encounter bugs that disconnect AirPods as well.

I just don’t want to use the device I’m using, though: I want to actively switch as I multitask, or even mix sources. I watch my phone, laptop, even a TV at the same time. I would prefer to tap-to-swap, or perhaps use my head orientation for the AirPods in some way depending on what device is being used. Apple has the latest devices U1 Chips He can spatially identify where other Apple devices are. Newer AirPods might tap into it even more. Keep in mind, even the expensive AirPods Max doesn’t have a U1 chip, so less expensive AirPods are unlikely, either … but this is an interesting idea.

Or I like a way to mix sources (a feed from my laptop, video from my iPhone). Apple already mixes noise outside the environment through an audio source Transparency – Can it proceed further? Or can Apple adopt more intelligent audio analysis of ambient noise and adjust what you’re listening to to boost treble or bass or spoken voice?

Apple Airpods Pro

AirPods do not measure heart rate, but they should work even more closely with the Apple Watch, which it does.

Sara Tew / CNET

What about AirPods fitness facilities?

Apple just made its debut Fitness Plus Workout Membership Service, Which requires one Apple Watch. AirPods are an important part of the Apple Watch-music-workout triangle, but so far Airpods’ built-in tap controls are very limited, and they lack positioning awareness.

Read more: One Week with Apple Fitness Plus: My Lockdown Weight Gain

It might be smart to add more shortcuts or tap gestures for workouts and activity monitoring, and would it be possible for AirPods to recognize when you’re starting to run or exercise? AirPods Pro has gyro and accelerometer that can unlock greater speed and position awareness. The next-gen AirPods Pro may add more emphasis to this area, but it is expected that there will also be third-gen AirPods.

It is unlikely that Apple will add real health-tracking sensors to AirPods, such as step count or heart rate. But Apple Watch and AirPods should make even more as a symbiotic pair. Heart rate and fitness readings, perhaps even deep clock control with AirPods command. But it should be noted that the ear is a very good place to measure heart rate.

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1 year with AirPods Pro


We will probably learn more about Airpods 3 later this year

I will no longer hold off on receiving AirPods, but keep in mind that new models should arrive shortly before the end of 2021. There are logical places to focus on battery life, audio performance and fitness. But I hope they find a way to wear better, more reliable connect-to-everything, too.

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