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Apple AirPods 4: Anticipated Features and Release Updates

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Expected for 2024, the AirPods 4 are one of the nice surprises that Apple has in store for us this year. According to rumors, the next AirPods will benefit from numerous improvements and will be available in two distinct versions. Here's everything there is to know about the fourth generation.

Apple AirPods 4: Anticipated Features and Release Updates

The fourth generation of AirPods will arrive in 2024 and should bring a number of new features. Indeed, AirPods 4 rumors suggest several significant improvements over previous generations. In particular, better audio quality or even extended battery life. Apple could also add health features, including a hearing aid.

Do you want to know everything about the future high-end headphones from the Apple brand? We have gathered all the latest information about the Apple AirPods 4 on this page. We will update this file regularly as new information or rumors arise about these little technological gems.

📅What is the possible release date for the Apple AirPods 4?

AirPods 4 could be released by the end of 2024. The headphones would be revealed in September, at the same time as the iPhone 16. In any case, that's what Mark Gurman, the Bloomberg journalist, thinks. This feeling was also shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to the latter, the new headphones should not be shipped before the second half of 2024, or even the first half of 2025, due to a change in manufacturing partners.

This deadline could correspond with the usual release schedule. Indeed, a window of two to three years separates each generation of AirPods. The first was released in 2016, the second in 2019, and the third generation in 2021. We are obviously talking about the classic versions and not the Pro and Max models.

✌️ How many AirPods models are planned for 2024?

Still, according to Mark Gurman, Apple would have planned to release not one but two versions of its AirPods 4. Indeed, in addition to the standard version, the Cupertino company could offer, in a unique way, an entry-level version called AirPods Lite. Which confirms the rumor announced at the beginning of 2023 by analyst Jeff Pu, an analyst also renowned in the sector.

More affordable and naturally less sophisticated, the AirPods Lite should be devoid of some features, such as active noise reduction, reserved for the base model. This low-cost version would allow the American brand to expand its target customer base.

Journalist Gurman explains that Apple is reportedly planning a redesign of its AirPods range. To do this, AirPods 2 and 3 will be gradually phased out in favor of the next two fourth-generation versions. It would be the lack of popularity of the AirPods 3, which would have pushed the brand to want to differentiate its devices.

Tim Cook's firm understood that it had every interest in capitalizing on its AirPods, which bring them a lot of money. Indeed, the Home and Accessories division (AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, HomePod, iPod touch, and accessories) generated nearly $40 billion in revenue over the year 2023, compared to nearly $30 billion for Macs or iPads.

💰 How much will AirPods 4 cost?

The price of the AirPods 4 remains a mystery for the moment, as does their release date. However, according to analyst Kuo, Apple could offer its AirPods Lite for around $99 a year. A unique and particularly attractive price for Apple-branded headphones.

Furthermore, the basic version could be offered at a price similar to that of the previous generation. Indeed, it is very rare for Apple to concede a price reduction for these new devices. What's more when it comes to moving upmarket? As a reminder, the AirPods 3, released in 2021, were sold at a price of €199. Thus, we expect that the AirPods 4 will at least be offered at the same price, or even at a higher price.

🎧 Whatdesign is the Apple AirPods 4?

According to Mark Gurman, the design of the Apple AirPods 4 should not deviate drastically from that of its predecessors. The next pair of headphones should indeed be inspired by the design of the AirPods 3 and AirPods 2 Pro. In this sense, the aesthetics should therefore be even more careful.

The design of the charging case should also be renewed and closer to that of the AirPods 2 Pro. Furthermore, it is more than likely that Apple will keep the characteristic white finish of all its headphone models so far.

The arrival of the active noise reduction functionality, as we will see in the next part, could also require a change in design, materialized by the addition of silicone tips or a completely different material.

🆕 What new features are expected on the AirPods 4?

👍 Superior audio quality with the H2 chip and active noise reduction

What new features are expected on thn AirPods 4?

The AirPods 4 should benefit from the H2 chip, a technology that the AirPods 2 Pro already benefits from. The H2 chip offers improved audio performance compared to the older generation chip. Software processing helps deliver clearer sound over a wider frequency range, as well as richer bass. In addition, the H2 chip is compatible with Bluetooth 5.3, which offers even more reliable and efficient wireless connections than the Bluetooth 5.0 of the current AirPods 3.

The Lite version could, however, be equipped with the H1 chip, which currently equips the second and third generation AirPods. Which could justify this price difference.

Active noise reduction (ANC), which is currently only reserved for the Pro and Max models, could also appear on the fourth-generation model, according to Gurman. If applicable, it would be reserved for the standard model. Adaptive audio would be more than welcome on the next AirPods 4. On the other hand, optimal acoustic insulation would probably be necessary to take full advantage of this technology. To do this, the best option remains insulating tips, like on the AirPods Pro. It remains to be seen whether Apple is ready to make the changes or wishes to keep this characteristic as a differentiating argument for its Pro models.

🔋 Better autonomy

In addition to being more efficient, the H2 chip also consumes less energy than the H1 chip. In addition, the Bluetooth 5.3 standard offers better energy efficiency. Which can also help extend battery life.

For comparison, the AirPods Pro 2 benefit from an hour and a half more battery life with ANC activated compared to the previous generation. Thus, the AirPods 4 could display an autonomy of up to 7 hours, compared to the AirPods 3, which offer up to 6 hours of autonomy.

🦻 Health features

AirPods 4 could also get hearing aid functionality. A rumor that is not new is that in 2023, Gurman reported that Apple was developing a health function for its AirPods. More specifically, it was about a hearing test to assess hearing problems.

These features would be a continuation of what Apple's headphones already offer. Indeed, current AirPods have hearing aid features such as Live Listen, which amplifies sound reproduction using the iPhone's microphone. AirPods Pro also have Conversation Boost, which makes nearby conversations more audible.

Although this type of device is not currently capable of completely replacing a hearing aid, a 2022 study shows that the prospects for AirPods in the field of hearing aids are promising.

Furthermore, Apple could have other surprises in store for us. Indeed, old patents suggest that the brand is looking to integrate health features similar to those of its Apple Watches, such as heart rate and temperature measurement.

🔌 Support for USB-C and Find My

The AirPods 4 headphones will come with a USB-C-compatible charging case. The adoption of this standard should allow Apple to offer ultra-fast charging on its AirPods 4 in a unique way.

Indeed, and as you probably know if you follow the news closely, new European regulations force all manufacturers to adopt USB-C as the new universal standard on their devices.

Apple is no exception to the rule, and it has also had to abandon the Lightning port on its iPhone 15. On the other hand, the brand also updated its AirPods 2 Pro in September 2023, offering a new version with a USB-C-compatible charging case and some other small improvements.

AirPods 2 Pro charging case beep after location alert via Find My © Apple
On the other hand, the next generation of AirPods should benefit from the same features as the AirPods 2 Pro. The latter has speakers that emit a sound signal when you launch a location alert via the Find My application. This is to make it easier for users to find their headphones. A novelty was made possible thanks to the integration of the U1 chip.

❓ What about the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro versions?

Rumors also suggest the arrival of a new version of the Apple AirPods Max by the end of 2024. The new headset could therefore be launched more or less at the same time as the AirPods 4. The new features will not be numerous and will focus on the addition of a USB-C port and new colors.

Indeed, the brand would mainly intend to comply with European legislation, which, as we recall, requires manufacturers to switch to USB-C by December 28, 2024. Aficionados of the brand's products will therefore have to wait even longer before being able to get their hands on a more advanced version.

However, they can console themselves because the future AirPods Pro are expected for 2025. They should benefit from a real evolution compared to the current AirPods 2 Pro model. Indeed, the next AirPods 3 Pro will benefit from a new chip and a revisited design.

Just like on its AirPods 4, Apple also plans to integrate hearing health functions as well as new health features such as body temperature monitoring. Furthermore, the brand would like to make its headphones even more comfortable, according to Gurman. Perhaps we could see a feature coming that would allow you to control the volume by nodding your head. This remains to be confirmed.

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