Rumor has it new AirPods are on the way – and they're not the AirPods X

The 2019 AirPods. (Image credit: Apple)

Rumors of a new pair of Apple AirPods have been smoldering for ages now, and a tweet from respected tech analyst Jon Prosser has stoked the fire after claiming that a new pair of Apple earbuds are "ready to ship". 

Prosser hasn't shared which model it could be – after all, there are multiple model names being floated around, including the AirPods Pro Lite and the AirPods 3 – but he has said that they are not the AirPods X, which are said to be Apple's first over-ear headphones.

You can check out the tweet for yourself below:

A June release date?

Responding to a comment further down the thread, Prosser says that the new AirPods "do not match the code name for the AirPods X" – which in itself, leads credence to the idea that Apple are on the verge of releasing a new pair of true wireless earbuds and its first over-ear headphones.

We'd be surprised to see the AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro Lite in 2020, with the latter being a new version of the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro.

Initial rumors suggested new AirPods would crash into the market before 2020 is out, but recent comments from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest we may be waiting a while longer – speculating that the next-gen AirPods would start mass production in early 2021, with a new AirPods Pro model arriving in 2022 too (via AppleInsider). 

If new AirPods do launch this year, it could be at WWDC 2020 on June 22. The virtual keynote is where we're expecting to see the iOS 14 update in detail, along with upgrades in the form of iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16 and watchOS 7.

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.