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Apple AirPods Studio revealed in iOS 14.3 beta – so when will the headphones launch?

Apple AirPods Studio
(Image credit: Curved)

An icon that seemingly depicts the Apple AirPods Studio has been discovered in the iOS 14.3 beta, which was released to developers on November 12. 

Spotted by 9to5Mac, the new icon looks pretty similar to the first leaked images of the long-awaited over-ear headphones, that swept the web back in September, with large rotatable earcups and what looks like thin metal arms that connect them to the headband.

The icon also backs up renders of the AirPods Studio that were released by prolific Apple leaker Jon Prosser. 

Prosser has claimed that these renders are based on a luxury variant of the AirPods Studio, which will be made from leather and metal, with a cheaper sports variant expected to drop alongside them.

airpods studio

(Image credit: 9to5Mac / Apple)

Delay after delay

The Apple AirPods Studio are said to be the first Apple over-ear headphones – and they've been the subject of rumor for quite some time now, with many hoping that they would be released before the end of 2020.

Despite reports that the wireless headphones were due to launch in October this year, we saw two Apple events come and go with no mention of the AirPods Studio, amid rumors that the tech giant has been hampered by multiple production delays.

Jon Prosser has suggested that they won't materialize until December 2020 "at best", with a March 2021 release date "just as likely".

A recent Bloomberg report that cites "people familiar with the plans" backs up Prosser's claims, saying, "the headphones were due to go into production weeks ago, but that was pushed back due to problems with the headband", with that part being deemed "too tight" during testing. That headband reportedly won't be interchangeable as initially rumored, but the AirPods Studio could still include interchangeable ear pads.

As the the year draws to an end, a 2020 release date for the AirPods Studio is looking less and less likely – and right now, we're banking on seeing the new headphones at the beginning of next year, perhaps alongside the so-called Apple AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro 2 true wireless earbuds.