DigiTimes: Upcoming new AirPods look like AirPods Pro, but no active noise cancellation

Apple’s upcoming refresh for the AirPods wireless earbuds is said to rock the same design as the $249 AirPods Pro, but without the active noise cancellation feature to keep the price down.

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported yesterday that these new earbuds probably won’t launch until the second half of 2020, or in early 2021, and iDB relayed that report.

Now the paywalled story has been refreshed with new information claiming that the upcoming audio accessory will look virtually indistinguishable from Apple’s current AirPods Pro earphones. The active noise cancelation feature is reportedly nowhere to be found.

MacRumors provided the following excerpt from the updated DigiTimes report:

Apple originally planned to unveil the new AirPods Pro in May 2020, but the schedule may be pushed back, as Apple has been unable to send staff to the production lines in Asia to inspect the status of the TWS earbuds due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Thee report went on to claim that Apple so far hasn’t made any adjustments to the earbuds’ release schedule. MacRumors claims that the accessory won’t have active noise cancellation, but didn’t provide any evidence so far to back that claim up.

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DigiTimes in a separate report said AirPods production “remains in high gear” despite recent delays in component shipments from Malaysia, which has imposed stay-at-home measures. The publication’s sources expect the AirPods supply chain to return to normal operations in the near future, predicting annual AirPods shipments rising by a double-digit growth in 2020.