Are the budget AirPods Pro, the so-called AirPods X, almost ready?

(Image credit: Apple)
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There’s a fresh rumor circulating on Twitter that Apple is on the cusp of announcing a new pair of true wireless earbuds, called the AirPods X, that will be a lower-cost version of the AirPods Pro with many of the same features.

The leaker at the forefront of the rumors is Jon Prosser, who said on Twitter (opens in new tab) that he expects the AirPods X to launch for $200 (around £160, AU$320) and could be available starting in September or October. 

In addition to AirPods X, Prosser believes that Apple will be releasing a rival to the Bose 700 Noise-Cancelling Headphones that will cost a bit more - $350 (around £280, AU$560) by his predictions - and those could be available around the time of Apple’s virtual WWDC event.

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Now, admittedly, even he wants to take these rumors with a grain of salt, saying in a followup tweet that “Reliability on this is [toilet paper emoji x 4]” before stating that he believes Apple plans on phasing out the Beats line of headphones. It's a lot to parse, but a big deal if there's any truth to it.

What's the deal with the over-ear cans?

We've heard rumors about the AirPods X before, and the over-ear headphones have been spoken about by tech journalists for the last three years. 

While Apple has yet to confirm any of it, the general thinking here is that Apple wants to create a more premium version of the Beats Studio headphones with noise-cancellation, Siri and the H1 Wireless Chip. 

Should that be the case, Apple could then potentially phase out the Beats series of headphones in a few years once it replaces the entire line with Apple AirPods equivalents - but why would they kill an incredibly popular brand they already own? That theory doesn't make a ton of sense.

In any event, premium new over-ear headphones are always welcome and a low-cost version of the uber-popular AirPods Pro could win over anyone who just can't get themselves to drop $250 on a pair of true wireless earbuds.

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.