Even those who aren’t huge Apple fans admit that the AirPods are one of the best consumer tech products to have come out in recent times. Since its initial release in late 2016, Apple has worked on expanding its wireless earphone and headphone product range. Now, you can buy the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation AirPods as well as the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. But what’s next for Apple and the AirPods line? According to reports, the company’s going to be exploring a new model titled the AirPods Lite. Find out more about this new product and how it might stand up against its competitors.
What Are the AirPods Lite?
According to Jeff Pu of Haitong Intl Tech Research, Apple is working on the new AirPods Lite to remain relevant in a market where competitors are producing cheaper products while improving technology. There’s not much information about this new development yet, as there hasn’t been an official announcement of the product. But according to Jeff Pu, the demand for AirPods decreased significantly in 2022 due to multiple factors, including the economy’s overall health and the presence of cheaper alternatives.
Since not many people can justify spending $129 for the AirPods 2, $169 for the AirPods 3, $249 for the AirPods Pro, or a hefty $549 for the AirPods Max, it makes sense for Apple to try and create a cheaper product that entices a wider consumer base. We’ve seen that Apple is keen to continue updating and improving the AirPods since the AirPods Pro 2 came with improvements in noise cancellation and transparency mode. However, the company hasn’t updated the original AirPods for a while. Could it decrease the price of the original AirPods further instead of developing the AirPods Lite?
We’re sure to see more information about this development in 2023, so stay updated with Apple Toolbox as we break the news.
AirPods Lite Competitors
First and foremost, the wireless earbud trend has died down significantly, with many opting for over-ears instead. Apple’s AirPods Max was a huge fashion trend in 2022 but it’s unaffordable for many. Therefore, consumer tech and audio companies have worked endlessly to create products that can displace Apple’s market leadership. Here are a few AirPods Lite competitors that are available today:
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds have been the main competitor for the AirPods, which makes sense seeing as the two companies are rivals vying for dominance in the consumer tech industry. The Galaxy Buds 2 has been reviewed extensively online and are a respectable alternative for those looking for cheaper wireless earbuds. These cost $99, so $30 cheaper than the original AirPods. Even though they’re cheaper, they still have active noise cancellation and low latency ambient mode (similar to transparency mode). So arguably, these are actually a competitor for the AirPods Pro seeing as they share similar technology.
Google Pixel Buds A-Series
The Google Pixel Buds A-Series has a bulkier look compared to the AirPods, but they do sit comfortably with its cushioning. This product also costs $99, although unlike the Galaxy Buds 2, do not have noise cancellation or any special transparency mode. Many claim that the Buds A-Series has a great microphone for calls and that you sound pretty clear even in noisy environments due to the beamforming mics. If perhaps the AirPods feel a little uncomfortable for your ears, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series has a more universal design and three different eartip sizes. It would be interesting to see how the AirPods Lite compares to this product.
The Sony WF-C500 has a similar construction to the Google Pixel Buds A-Series and also comes with different-sized earbud tips so that you can keep these wireless earphones snug. These cost $98 new, but you can find various buying options at select retailers for as low as $35. As far as audio technology goes, you can listen to music without losing much quality due to DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) restoring any frequencies lost in compression. You get up to 10 hours of battery life and 20 hours with the charging case. You can also tailor your sound with the Sony companion app, which is a great feature for customization.
Jabra Elite 3
The Jabra Elite 3 is the cheapest option on this list at only $75. For such a low price, you get an excellent quality product. It’s god 6mm speakers that provide you with extremely crisp and punchy bass no matter what you’re listening to. It has intelligent noise control technology, similar to the AirPods’ transparency mode. While this isn’t the most advanced product from Jabra, it would definitely compete against the AirPods Lite due to its price point and suprisingly good sound quality. It comes in multiple different colorways, too, unlike the AirPods line, so you can wear something you feel more comfortable with.