Apple AirPods Studio headphones image leak reveals Sony WH-1000XM4 rival

AirPods Studio mockup
(Image credit: Curved)

A pair of leakers this week posted new media that claim to show the latest addition to Apple's audio line-up: the Apple AirPods Studio.

AirPods Studio, rumored to be the first over-the-ear headphones from Apple, are one of the most highly-anticipated Apple products in recent memory as audiophiles and audio professionals alike look to get their hands on what are expected to be some of the smartest headphones ever.

One of the leakers, Jon Prosser, teased a new rendering of the latest headphones last week and came through this week with several rendered pictures he says were based on material leaked to him by an Apple insider.

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The renders show a square housing with rounded corners rather than the typical round or oval housings seen on most over-the-ear headphones - which hints that the AirPods Studio might not be over-the-ear at all, but rather on-ear. 

If that turns out to be accurate, it might make the headset's reported active noise cancelling less effective. Assuming the headphones are as "smart" as the rumors say they are, if they turn out to be on-ear instead, Apple may have some new tech in store that we don't know about just yet.

This is especially true since - as a potential rival to the Sony WH-1000XM4, which has phenomenal noise-cancelling among its other many features - the AirPods Studio will have to bring something particularly new to the table in order to stand out in a crowded field of more-established audio equipment makers. 

But, if anyone can pull that off, it'll be Apple - just ask Motorola and Blackberry.

Can you hear that? The sound of more leaks...

According to MacRumors, another leaker, Fudge, appears to have gotten the same video and images that Prosser received and posted the image and video themselves to Twitter.

The picture potentially shows the "Sport" variant of the AirPods Studio - in what looks to be Apple's Space Gray color scheme - which are rumored to be lighter and feature removable and washable ear cushions.

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The case for the AirPods Studio is also featured in a video that Fudge posted to Twitter, showing the AirPods Studio in the classic Apple White.

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These latest leaks - especially the video - look like the real deal, but until we see any official word from Apple, it all remains speculation at this point. 

The AirPods Studio are rumored to make their appearance at Apple's October event, where Apple is also expected to announce the new iPhone 12.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).