Apple is reportedly preparing to refresh its popular wireless AirPods after introducing the new second-generation version earlier this year. The new and improved AirPods that debuted in March 2019 came packing only a couple of minor alterations: better battery life, a new wireless charging case, and Siri support. But according to Bloomberg, a new version of noise-canceling and water resistant AirPods is coming early as 2020, in addition to another set of new Apple products.
The new AirPods are rumored to be more expensive than the $159 model you can currently pick up, which makes sense given their extra niceties and features. It sounds like they're being readied as an alternative to other wireless earbuds as a great option for fitness enthusiasts, especially with added water resistance, but the noise-canceling feature may be something of an issue for many, as it's the final straw in the AirPod equation that may find people closing out the world for good.
The AirPod, a truly wireless earbud option, has become all but ubiquitous in our society. It's not uncommon at all to see dozens of folks on your daily trips out or even inside your workplace walking around with one or both AirPods in their ear, happily flitting around, oblivious to the world around them. This isn't a phenomenon localized to AirPods, especially since so many other wireless options have sprang up in a bid to topple their rule. Many of them are already either noise-canceling or water resistant or both, which means Apple is essentially just now going to be keeping up.
The true issue at hand is the idea that with everyone walking around with new and improved AirPods in their ears, they're going to continue shutting out the world around them. Water resistance means less issues keeping them in a sweaty ear when out and about (and potentially making it easier to clean them), and noise-canceling means less of a way for listeners to hear you if you need to speak to them, say, at a checkout or to warn them of impending danger.
But this isn't an issue caused by Apple or any other manufacturer, of course, and we should all hope that pricey wireless earbuds come packing a wide variety of different features when they come at a premium. Apple hasn't officially commented on what we can expect to see out of the new model just yet, but given that there's likely a new Apple event still to come later this year, we're not too far out from learning about what the company has up its sleeve.