Update: Apple just released the AirPods Pro, and despite the rumours of new colour options, they’re available only in classic Apple white — at least for now. However, there have been too many rumours of new colours to entirely rule out the possibility that Apple could still be planning to release more colours down the road, as it did with its Beats-branded Powerbeats Pro last summer.
News is heating up about the next model of Apple’s AirPods, which have been dubbed the “AirPods Pro,” and could be arriving as soon as this week despite the lack of the October Apple Event that many were expecting.
We already know quite a bit about the new AirPods Pro, including that they’ll feature a whole-new design with rubber ear tips that will be critical to accommodate the new Active Noise Cancellation feature they’re expected to introduce. There have also been rumours that they might get better waterproofing — or at least better sweat-proofing — and could work at longer ranges or feature advanced health sensors.
It also seems very likely that we’ll see Apple move beyond its classic white design into at least a black version, if not also adding other colours. We’ve been hearing rumours about this since early this year, and many expected that a new colour option would arrive with the second-generation AirPods that debuted in March, but alas, that wasn’t the case.
In fact, it appears that earlier AirPods rumours may have been conflating the second-generation AirPods with what we’re now expecting to see as the “AirPods Pro.” Chances are that Apple was working on both versions simultaneously, but several sources have suggested that Apple was supposed to release a new set of AirPods last year, but that the release date simply slipped into early 2019. So in other words, the second-generation AirPods we saw in March were just a late 2018 release, which makes sense considering how long we’ve been hearing about those features.
Even back in March, there was strong evidence that Apple was working on two different AirPods releases, including reports that new colours would be coming — but not until the fall.
Now, a new report from China’s Economic Daily News is adding more weight to this, and suggesting that the new AirPods could come in not just black, but as many as eight new colours in total.
That might seem excessive, but it’s not entirely out of the question; Apple’s AirPods have stayed pure white so far, but the company has been more adventurous with its Beats brand — its Solo and Studio headphones have long been available in multiple colours, and even its H1-equipped Powerbeats Pro — the workout enthusiast’s answer to the AirPods — came out in four colours. Plus, for the first time in several years, Apple has brought a new colour to its high-end iPhone model in the form of midnight green.
The Chinese-language publication was the first one to make the claim that Apple would be releasing new AirPods in a black option back in February, and based on what we already mentioned above, it seems likely that even back then it was looking ahead to the fall 2019 AirPods and not the delayed second-gen version that actually arrived in March.
The report doesn’t list all of the colours that will be available, but it does notably mention that black and midnight green would be two of the options. This suggests that Apple may plan to release AirPods in colours that would match its current iPhone 11 lineup, which would suggest that space grey, silver, gold, yellow, red, purple, and standard green could also be on the table.
We also saw reports back in February that the new AirPods would feature a matte finish with a grippier texture, along with more recent rumours that the AirPods Pro will include a new metal design. This suggests there could be other similarities between Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro lineup and the new AirPods Pro, with the charging case designed to look similar to the back glass of the latest high-end iPhone models.