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Earlier this month, we heard reports that Apple is working on its first pair of true wireless Beats earphones — a product expected to be dubbed “Beats Studio Buds,” and now it looks like at least one pre-release version of these may already be out in the wild.
In a set of Instagram photos shared by LeBron James, the NBA star is wearing a set of earbuds that bear a striking resemblance to the leaked images we’ve seen of the upcoming Beats Studio Buds.
While the nature of the photos makes it impossible to be certain that this is what James is wearing, there aren’t any other mainstream earbuds on the market that look like the upcoming Beats Studio Buds.
Combined with the fact that, like most sports celebrities, James is a fan of Beats products, it seems likely that he may indeed have gotten his hands on an early release of the headphones.
If true, this suggests that we can probably expect them to arrive even sooner than we originally thought, and this is just the latest link in a chain of mounting evidence for an impending release.
The Beats Studio Buds were first discovered in the tvOS and iOS 14.6 betas last week by MacRumors’ Steve Moser, with several animations that made the design pretty clear, as well as indications that they’d be available in at least three colours: black, white, and red.
While code for new products often appears in iOS and tvOS betas weeks or even months ahead of a product’s release, the second piece of evidence appeared on Monday, when the new headphones showed up in the FCC database, with Apple model numbers of A2512 and A2513, and another clear indication that they will, in fact, be named the Beats Studio Buds.
Not long after this, leaked images from MySmartPrice showed the design of the outer casing, giving us an even closer look at the design and hinting that they’re ready to go.
Now, with LeBron James seen wearing what clearly seems to be the new Beats Studio Buds, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them going on sale in the next few days.
What We Know About Beats Studio Buds
Based on all the available evidence, the new headphones will be offered in red, black, and white, and include a matching case for charging. They’ll use silicone ear tips similar to those found on the Powerbeats Pro, but will exclude the ear wraps, favouring a design more similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds.
What’s interesting is that Apple is rumoured to be working on a similar design language for the second-generation AirPods Pro, which are expected to be released later this year. It’s a bit surprising that Apple would bring this design to a set of earbuds under its Beats brand before it comes to the flagship AirPods.
This is even more unusual since the code found in iOS 14.6 suggests that the Beats Studio Buds will also feature Active Noise Cancellation, which has thus far been exclusive to Apple’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. This leaves us wondering what the next-generation AirPods Pro will bring to the table to differentiate them from their Beats counterparts.