Home Apple AirPods 4: Release date, specs, price and everything we know so far

Apple AirPods 4: Release date, specs, price and everything we know so far


  • Speculations about two models: regular and cheaper versions.
  • Predicted design resembles a blend of AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2.
  • No substantial leaks regarding features, but USB-C charging case expected.

It’s fair to say Apple AirPods, both the pro and non-pro versions, are some of the most popular earbuds on the market and have been ever since the launch of the first AirPods back in 2016. So rumours of the Apple AirPods 4 doing the rounds will have fans very excited.

The 3rd generation AirPods launched in October 2021, so leaks surrounding the 4th generation model are based on Apple roughly following a two-year cycle, which is about the time it took them to upgrade from the 2nd generation.

But Apple is currently very tightlipped on the matter, leaving us with nothing more than a cocktail of speculation from trusted industry analysts and our hopes and dreams.

Here’s what we know about Apple AirPods 4 so far…

Apple AirPods 4: What we know so far and rumors

The biggest rumor that appears to have a high level of truth to it is that Apple is preparing to launch two different AirPods 4 models – a regular version and a cheaper alternative. This has been backed up by industry analysts Jeff Pu, Ming-Chi Kuo, and Mark Gurman.

There isn’t much information out there about what the difference between the two versions will be, but Bloomberg analyst Gurman has previously suggested that the regular AirPods 4 will likely feature noise canceling and a case with Find My alert functionality, both of which won’t be offered with the cheaper alternative.


As there has been no official announcement from Apple just yet, we don’t know for sure whether there will be any major design changes to the AirPods 4, but Gurman has predicted that the 4th generation earbuds will be a design blend of the AirPods 3 and the AirPods Pro 2. That gives credence to the belief that there aren’t going to be any major design upgrades, as the existing AirPods and Pro 2 already look very similar in that regard.

Gurman has reported, though, that the design will offer a better a more comfortable fit than previous generations but hinted that it is unlikely Apple will introduce changeable ear tips to the AirPods 4, meaning it’s therefore unlikely we’ll see active noise cancellation (ACN) on the 4th-generation model, but it’s not necessarily an impossibility.

The same goes for color. Apple’s trademark white finish isn’t likely to be changed, nor is there any expectation of more colors being added this time around, unlike Apple’s AirPods Max 2, which comes in a variety of shades.


To date, there have been no leaks or credible rumors surrounding the features of the AirPods 4. Fans have been calling for the addition of volume control to the on-bud touch controls, which were introduced to the AirPods Pro 2 in 2022, but there’s nothing out there that suggests dreams will come true just yet.

Meanwhile, one thing we can be fairly certain of is the switch to a USB-C charging case, thanks to the EU’s ruling on ports. Apple has already started fitting its flagship products with USB-C, so this won’t come as a surprise whatsoever.

Gurman has also hinted that future AirPods will come equipped with temperature sensors, but it’s not yet known whether this is something we can expect to see in AirPods 4 or the third generation of AirPods Pro. Probably the latter.


There is hope that battery life will be improved on the AirPods 4, thanks to the expected addition of Apple’s H2 chip, which can already be found in the AirPods Pro 2. The H2 chip supports Bluetooth 5.3, which is more stable and efficient than Bluetooth 5.0.

The inclusion of the H2 chip would make sense, with rumors doing the rounds that AirPods Pro 3 could debut the new H3 chip.

What is the Apple AirPods 4 release date?

There are slightly conflicting reports on this right now. Ming-Chi Kuo claims shipping won’t start until the second half of 2024, while Gurman believes Apple is gearing up for production in May.

That may mean a September launch, probably alongside the new iPhone 16. Gurman did say that the launch of the AirPods 4 is set to be the “biggest AirPods launch to date.”

However, Jeff Pu says the new AirPods could be released alongside the new AirPods Max sometime in Q4 2024, which means anytime between October and December.

Apple’s next event is on May 7, 2024, but Gurman has already said Apple is not expected to make any announcement on the AirPods 4 then as it’s likely to be included in several new products reveals being held back for later in the year.

How much will the Apple AirPods cost?

With reports of a second addition to the AirPods 4 family on its way, it’s a little difficult to know how Apple will approach its pricing this time around.

The AirPods 3 retailed at $179 and while Apple rarely reduces the price for like-for-like upgrades, it all depends on how much ‘cheaper’ the second 4th generation AirPods will be.

Pu and Kuo have hinted that the cheaper version could hit US stores at just $99, which would certainly make Apple’s iconic earbuds much more accessible in a very competitive market.

Featured Image: Photo by Alireza Khoddam on Unsplash

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

James Jones

James Jones is a highly experienced journalist, podcaster and digital publishing specialist, who has been creating content in a variety of forms for online publications in the sports and tech industry for over 10 years. He has worked at some of the leading online publishers in the country, most recently as the Content Lead for Snack Media's expansive of portfolio of websites, including Football Fancast.com, FootballLeagueWorld.co.uk and GiveMeSport.com. James has also appeared on several national and global media outlets, including BBC News, talkSPORT, LBC Radio, 5 Live Radio, TNT Sports, GB News and BBC’s Match of the Day 2. James…

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