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Apple AirPods set for redesign in coming year, report says

The company may be working on AirPod and AirPod Pro updates with new designs and fitness features.

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Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
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The redesigned AirPods are reported to resemble the AirPods Pro.

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple is preparing redesigned versions of its AirPods and AirPods Pro in-ear headphones for release in 2021 and 2022 respectively, Bloomberg reported Friday. The new AirPods design will apparently resemble the Pro more closely and include "updated motion sensors with a focus on fitness tracking."

The company is also reportedly experimenting with a stemless version of the Pro, which could be similar to Apple's rumored Beats Studio Buds. Basketball icon LeBron James was spotted wearing what appeared to be the unreleased Beats Studio Buds in an Instagram post Thursday, as noted by MacRumors

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Watch this: New Beats earbuds revealed by LeBron James?

The current AirPods cost $159 in the US, while the AirPods feature active noise canceling and cost $249. Apple is also reportedly mulling over new colors for its most recent headphones, the $549 AirPods Max, which compete with noise canceling models such as the $299 Sony WH-1000XM4 and the $379 Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

Apple's developers conference WWDC 2021 is set for June 7. The company is expected to announce iOS 15, along with new hardware, which could include in-ear headphones.

Apple didn't immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.