Icon for new noise cancelling AirPods found in iOS 13.2 beta

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2
A delve into the first iOS 13.2 beta release has found an icon, suggesting that Apple's noise cancelling AirPods are coming sooner rather than later.

Current second-generation AIrPods with charging case
Current second-generation AirPods with charging case


The discovery comes following rumors that have come with more frequency in the last year about an AirPods refresh with noise cancellation. The most recent in April, suggested that "AirPods 3" were moving up from an expected 2020 date, to late 2019 -- in line with the expected release of iOS 13.2

Icon said to be for a new noise cancelling AirPods revision, as found by 9to5 Mac
Icon said to be for a new noise cancelling AirPods revision, as found by 9to5Mac


Other items in the beta code rummaged by 9to5Mac are calling noise cancellation activation a "focus mode." Additionally, the AirPods are said to have model B298.

The icon bears a resemblance to an image published by SlashLeaks in September purporting to be new AirPods. The provenance of the image is still unknown -- and the units pictured do bear a striking resemblance to any number of AirPods knockoffs.


"AirPods 3" as leaked on SlashLeaks in September


At present, beyond noise cancellation, it's unclear what else may be included in any new AirPods update. Rumors of noise cancellation do not preclude the previously rumored extra health features coming to AirPods 3, however they may be planned for some later generation.

More than two years ago, Apple filed for three patents titled "Earbuds with biometric sensing." A more recent revelation is a patent that describes ways to allow an earbud to fit more securely within the ear canal, allowing it to have better contact with the skin.

An image from an Apple patent showing how an earbud could be made to contact the ear, making it more useful for PPG measurements
An image from an Apple patent showing how an earbud could be made to contact the ear, making it more useful for PPG measurements


Given the existing patents, we can expect the integration of a photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor, the same used in the Apple Watch to measure a user's heart rate.

Interestingly, the patents talked about a temperature sensor which can possibly detect both the core temperature of the user and ambient temperature as well. The patents also mentioned a sensor to measure blood oxygen levels, which can be useful for things such as keeping track of your aerobic endurance.

Also alluded to was the use of electrodes that can cooperatively measure a number of different biometric parameters, like galvanic skin response or electrical activity of the heart, which is a different implementation of the same core technology that's used in the Apple Watch Series 4 to perform an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Apple's AirPods were last updated on March 20, 2019. The update included longer talk time, and the addition of "Hey Siri" support.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    chemengin1n2itivguyjcs2305
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Nice they really need noise-cancellation.  Hope that fixes speech-to-text.  Now can we get Air Pods that don’t have a super annoying delay when using Siri?  They’re practically unusable to me because of that delay.  Otherwise I love my Air Pods.  
  • Reply 3 of 15
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,896member
    That clearly isn’t true Eric as they are the most popular in ear earphone on the planet. If what you say is true they would not be popular. If you want to duel anecdotes, they are actually the best fit for me, especially when walking. But fear not, maybe this mooted style is better suited to you and “other folks’ ears.

    Actually on topic, i am surprised Apple hasn’t gone more aggressively into ANC and smart features. Why leave the ANC market to [largely] Bose and Sony? On that matter, Beats headphones could also do with a sound and ANC update.  Imagine a studio 4 that matched or outdid MX3s and QC35 II in sound quality and performance. Regardless, it’s time for an sound device update, maybe even a diversification of models in the market to help out the deprived like Eric.
    edited October 2 d_2berndogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,804member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    mwhiten2itivguyberndogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,064member
    The icon looks like little ray guns  :D
    scdundas
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    That's great dude, I fit right inside the sweet spot too.
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    crowley said:
    The icon looks like little ray guns  :D
    Apple makes a ray gun just to prove they can innovate. 
    seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    I've been waiting for AirPods with noise cancellation, but now that I see them I suspect they won't be terribly comfortable in my ears. I had a pair of Sony in ear ones before, and they made my ears feel hot and gross and my ear wax got all runny. As it stands now I've got a really nice pair of over the ear noise cancelling headphones, and a pair of original AirPods that have had the ear pieces swapped out for battery replacement once. I think I might stick with my current setup longer than I'd planned.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    That's great dude, I fit right inside the sweet spot too.
    Most people do.  Your original statement implied that "most people" found them uncomfortable.  
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,728member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    That's great dude, I fit right inside the sweet spot too.
    Most people do.  Your original statement implied that "most people" found them uncomfortable.  
    As I’ve said before, any time you have a device designed to closely fit with someone’s anatomy, you will always have people for whom it doesn’t work, simply due to the variations in human anatomy. My wife has yet to find a pair of ear buds that’s comfortable for her. I’d be willing to bet if someone made ear buds that fit her they wouldn’t fit anyone else. From what I’ve seen, Apple has done a good job of designing an ear bud that fits most people, but they will never fit everyone. 

    I’d really like to see a pair with silicone pads to better seal out outside noise. Not having extra noise to cancel always best trying to Cancel it. 


    fastasleep
  • Reply 11 of 15
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,297member
    MplsP said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    That's great dude, I fit right inside the sweet spot too.
    Most people do.  Your original statement implied that "most people" found them uncomfortable.  
    As I’ve said before, any time you have a device designed to closely fit with someone’s anatomy, you will always have people for whom it doesn’t work, simply due to the variations in human anatomy. My wife has yet to find a pair of ear buds that’s comfortable for her. I’d be willing to bet if someone made ear buds that fit her they wouldn’t fit anyone else. From what I’ve seen, Apple has done a good job of designing an ear bud that fits most people, but they will never fit everyone. 

    I’d really like to see a pair with silicone pads to better seal out outside noise. Not having extra noise to cancel always best trying to Cancel it. 


    Yeah, "lots of people" != "most people". My dad for example said his fall out while he's leaning over working in the garden, and has basically stopped using them most of the time he bought them for. It's not a criticism, I certainly believe they found a shape that fits well for most people.

    I was overall very happy with my AirPods, but started to notice that while walking home they'd loosen in my ears ever so slightly and need to be pushed back in a bit to get a better seal in order to increase loudness/bass to the level I prefer. I got these little silicone slipcover things off Amazon and it's improved their fit quite a bit, to the point that I wish the AirPods had a silicone or other grippier coating/finish so they wouldn't slip out. These look like they will have interchangeable silicone tips, which I much prefer and should offer a solution for people whose ears don't cooperate with the current AirPods design. 


    edited October 2 seanjStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 842member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    For me they are exactly these things. My right and left ear canals aren't quite the same size. When I use canal style buds I can use two different tip sizes to get a good fit. AirPods will stay in for me, but will not sit correctly in my ears so they sound thin no bass and the near constant need to adjust them in my ears leads to discomfort. I have tried hers multiple times with the same result. 

    If apple made a canal style bud with the same tech and wireless charging as the current AirPods,  I would not be able to pre order them fast enough.  B)

    Even tried BeatsX for myself when I bought her the original AirPods. They are great with pairing ease and range.. they sound pretty good too, but they aren't truly wireless and the cord across the neck gets old.  I use them to watch tv in the bedroom paired with my Appletv when she is is trying to sleep. 

    My current true wireless buds from RHA sound and fit really good, but don't have the range, pairing ease or call quality that you get with AirPods.  
    Rayz2016fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    What about to stop noise cancellation when it recognize someone pronounced your name or extreme noise around you like breaking car or horn?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 15
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,804member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    I know lots of people for whom AirPods either pop out (too tight), fall out (too loose), or are uncomfortable (most other folks). This is needed.
    Mine are none of those things. The only time I experience discomfort is if my head/ears is pressed up against another surface. 
    That's great dude, I fit right inside the sweet spot too.
    I mention it because you said "most" other people find them uncomfortable. While I can't say for your sample size, I find it unlikely to be the case for the larger pool. It isn't a sweet spot that they work for, which implies a narrow goldie lox subset. It's the ones they don't fit or whatnot that is the outlier set. Of course they won't fit everyone. But if you go back to the original EarPods keynote, they go over how & why they shaped them the way they did for the maximum number of people they could capture. 
    edited October 3 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,302member
    Time to use the 3D depth sensing to form a model of where the tips fit in each ear and create a model from which custom tips can be manufactured. I would gladly pay a little more for a better, more comfortable fit.

    Not sure if it is feasible (yet) from a technical perspective but I think this is the direction we'll be moving in.
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