Beats Studio Buds: has LeBron James revealed the rumored wireless earbuds?

lebron james wearing beats studio buds
(Image credit: LeBron James / Instagram)

The past few weeks have seen in a number of Beats Studio Buds leaks, with the wireless earbuds cropping up in Apple’s latest beta software for tvOS and iOS – and now, basketball star LeBron James appears to have stepped out wearing the rumored Apple buds. 

In photos posted to his Instagram, James is wearing what looks suspiciously like the Studio Buds animations that were revealed by MacRumors and 9to5Mac – the rounded housings with a prominent ridge are a dead giveaway:

As James is a Beats endorser – and as Engadget points out, he bought the entire 2008 Olympic men's basketball team pairs of Beats headphones – it wouldn't be unusual for him to get a first look at the upcoming earbuds before the rest of the world.

When will the Beats Studio Buds be released?

It’s been a while since Beats launched a pair of true wireless earbuds. The Powerbeats Pro offered a sports-friendly design and Apple-friendly connectivity features, and we thought it likely that the company would release a follow-up in the near future.

The so-called Powerbeats Pro 2 haven’t materialized, however – and it now looks like the Beats Studio Buds will be the next model to join the AirPods and the AirPods Pro in Apple’s lineup of wireless earbuds. 

Apple is yet to confirm the existence of the Studio Buds, but based on the leaks and a new appearance of the Buds in a recent FCC filing discovered by MacRumors, it's looking pretty certain that the Studio Buds will be arriving sooner rather than later. 

Unless Apple decides to drop the earbuds via an email as it did with its announcement that Apple Music will offer hi-res audio at no extra cost, the next feasible release date is at WWDC 2021 on June 7. 

And, now that we've seen what looks like the Studio Buds in the flesh for the first time, a June release date is looking even more likely.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.