Report: Apple AirPods 3 with noise cancellation coming later this year

Even though Apple just released its first update to the popular, fully wireless AirPods, and is also set to launch its first fully wireless PowerBeats earbuds, a new report from DigiTimes claims that we could see a third update to the AirPods before the end of 2019. The report goes on to say that the new buds will boast noise cancellation as their prime upgrade over the current AirPods.

Citing unnamed “industry sources” for the information, the report spends a lot of time discussing why Apple would want to make this move, while it offers almost no corroboration that Apple is in fact working on such a plan. “To meet challenges from rivals,” one industry source says, “Apple and its supply chain partners are looking to raise the bar by adding new features to AirPods 3, including the noise-cancellation function.” Similarly obvious observations are made throughout the report.

The real question is, if Apple is indeed working on a noise-cancellation function for the next AirPods, how exactly would that work? AirPods have traditionally been non-sound-isolating, meaning they simply sit in your ear, and do not seal off any part of your ear canal. For passive noise cancellation, earbuds need to effectively block outside sounds from entering the ear. For active noise cancellation (ANC), the earbuds would also need additional circuitry, and possibly more microphones, to produce the correct frequencies that neutralize exterior sounds. All of this is doable, but it would likely mean a change to the existing AirPods design. And given that active noise cancellation requires additional power, such a feature could potentially affect the AirPods’ battery life, which is already on the low side of acceptable at five hours.

We do know that Apple has been actively researching various forms of noise-cancellation technology, and earlier this year the company applied for a patent on an ANC system that would give headphone wearers a variety of options for controlling how much ambient sound enters their ears. That patent refers almost exclusively to “headphones,” but it’s possible Apple is also looking at ways to apply the same technology to a fully wireless earbud design, too.

Home Theater

Six things the new AirPods (and all new wireless earbuds) should have

Whether you’re a new buyer or considering an upgrade, here’s what you should look for in your next pair of true wireless earbuds, from great battery life to app-based features and beyond.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods — we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

The best alternatives to the Powerbeats Pro (and they’re cheaper too)

The Beats Powerbeats Pro might be getting a lot of attention but at $250, they're also a serious investment. Luckily, there are plenty of great alternatives that are great for your workout and your wallet.

The 2019 MacBook Pro is an impressive performance update, but not much else

With increased competition from Windows laptops, Apple could do with refreshing its MacBook Pro line. Fortunately, it looks set to do that in 2019. Here's everything we know so far.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch The Big Bang Theory online — including season 12

We've rounded up all the best places to watch The Big Bang Theory online (and triple-checked to ensure that the entire article is free of spoilers, so there's no need to read with one eye closed).

The Best 4K TV deals for Memorial Day: Vizio, Samsung, and LG get discounts

Credit cards at the ready — there's a massive sale on 4K TVs to celebrate Memorial Day, and with pricing starting as low as $230 for a 40-inch and $330 for a 55-inch, there's bound to be something for everyone.
Movies & TV

From Ted to John Wick, these are Keanu Reeves’ best roles

From assassins to computer hackers, football players, and metalhead teens, here's a ranking of Keanu Reeves' best film roles throughout his illustrious, decades-long career in Hollywood.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Take a gander at the best 4K smart TV deals for May 2019

A good 4K smart TV is the only way to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals, including a few Memorial Day weekend offers, right here.
Home Theater

With tvOS 12.3, Apple’s TV app begins its platform-conquering journey

Apple's redesigned TV app experience is here, and it's on Apple TV, iOS, and even some smart TVs. But what exactly is this new experience and how is it different than Roku, Amazon, and others? We've got the answers.

Sony soundbar systems get huge discounts for Memorial Day weekend

Without a decent soundbar to back up your smart TV, you could easily end up with pretty underwhelming television experience. With so many Memorial Day sales going on right now, it's a great time to pick up a Sony soundbar.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies streaming on Hulu right now (May 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Tricked-out e-scooters and bike lights that lock

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!