AirPods Pro Lite leak with lower price

A new set of AirPods leaked this week with reports converging on a lower price point. Lower than the standard AirPods Pro, that is, and far lower than AirPods Max. The price of this new set of AirPods would be higher than that of the AirPods with wired charging case, and likely on-par with the AirPods with wireless charging case.

Reports collected by 9to5Mac and via The Elec suggest we can expect a new set of AirPods in the year 2021. Per anonymous industry sources, Apple is in the process of replacing in their stores the device "AirPods with wireless charging case" in favor of a new "AirPods Pro Lite."

The AirPods Pro Lite package would include a wireless charging case. AirPods Pro Lite would include a design that looks a whole lot like the standard AirPods Pro. AirPods Pro Lite would be a value proposition that is very similar to Apple's tier-replacement strategies from the last half-decade for a wide variety of devices.

• AirPods with wired charging case: $159

• AirPods with wireless charging case: $199 *

• AirPods Pro with wireless charging case: $249

• AirPods Max: $549

*The AirPods Pro Lite would likely replace this price / value point and the AirPods with wireless charging case would be phased out entirely.

If you're looking for the coolest pair of AirPods and want to upgrade from the old AirPods you've been using, an AirPods Pro Lite might be the package you seek. That'd be an industrial design that looks like the most expensive AirPods (earbuds, anyway), but doesn't cost as much.

The difference between the AirPods Pro Lite and AirPods Pro would be slight. It's possible the battery size would be different – but the most important bit is the absence of Active Noise Cancellation. These next-gen AirPods would work with the replaceable ear tips, like any REASONABLE set of earbuds.

If you're looking to buy a pair of AirPods before the end of this year, and a report of a "cheap" pair of AirPods reaches you – remember this: Apple won't likely go lower than it's already gone. The year 2021 may include a new AirPods Pro Lite, but we've not yet seen any entirely solid indication that Apple will release a product akin to "AirPods Lite" with a price lower than $159. That's the current price of AirPods with a wired charging case.