It appears that Apple’s upcoming third-generation AirPods will feature a design that’s very similar to the current AirPods Pro model but without one premium feature.

Japanese blog Mac Otakara relayed a report by 52audio which includes several photographs that appear to depict an enclosure cover that’s reminiscent of the AirPods Pro charge case. We also get to see what looks like the top part of the next AirPods earbuds.

How to listen with spatial audio on AirPods Pro

Again, the pictured earbud looks very similar to the AirPods Pro complete with a shorter stem. Depressions in the stem suggest the next AirPods will have pressure-sensitive controls like the AirPods Pro. The upcoming AirPods probably won’t support active noise cancellation because the earbuds don’t seem to have been designed with in-ear tips in mind.

The site published an X-ray image of the alleged ‌AirPods 3‌ next to the current AirPods Pro, seen right above. The AirPods 3 look like a “scaled-down version of AirPods Pro,” it notes.

MacRumors commented:

The ‌AirPods‌ 3 seems to retain its more squarish charging case, compared to the elongated case of ‌AirPods Pro‌. If the images are to scale, then the ‌AirPods‌ 3 charging case would also be markedly smaller than its predecessor. A render of the two earbuds shows that they have clearly taken design cues from ‌AirPods Pro‌, with shorter stems and a larger in-ear portion, but without the ‌AirPods Pro‌’s detachable in-ear tips.

Here’s that render…

According to Bloomberg, the next AirPods models will arrive in 2021, including a third-generation entry-level model replacing the current second-generation AirPods in the lineup. Bloomberg claims the design of these new entry-level AirPods will be similar to the current AirPods Pro. “Apple is also looking to improve battery life,” the report added.

Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities expects mass-production of the next AirPods to start in the first half of 2021, with a possible release before the WWDC 2021. Next Tuesday, Apple is holding its last media event this year and there’s a very slim chance that new AirPods models could be introduced, but don’t take our word for it.