AirPods Pro Starting to Be Assembled in Vietnam

Apple has been seeking to add geographic diversity to its supply chain for some time now, with a shift of some production of the AirPods lineup to Vietnam being one significant step for the company.

Photo via @alixrezax

Apple reportedly began trialing production of regular ‌AirPods‌ in Vietnam almost a year ago, and it was reported in December that Apple’s ‌AirPods‌ suppliers were looking to line up financing to expand production.

And just two weeks ago, Nikkei reported that mass production of regular ‌AirPods‌ in Vietnam had started in March.

“The mass production of ‌AirPods‌ in Vietnam started as early as in March,” a person familiar with the matter said. “The Vietnamese officials even granted special permits for a key Apple ‌AirPods‌ assembler to help the company bring in engineers to the country for smooth production during lockdowns.” Vietnam began easing some lockdown measures in late April.

At the time, Nikkei said that the production shift did “not yet include” the higher-end AirPods Pro, but it now appears that ‌AirPods Pro‌ production has indeed begun in Vietnam as several MacRumors readers including @alixrezax on Twitter and “rhyzome” in our forums have reported this week receiving their ‌AirPods Pro‌ with “Assembled in Vietnam” shown on the charging cases.

Vietnam has long been a hotbed for Apple’s audio accessory production, with even older models like wired EarPods having been produced in the country, and it looks like there’s no sign of a slowdown. In fact, a report earlier this week claimed that Apple’s over-ear “AirPods Studio” headphones will be partly produced in Vietnam from their debut for the first time, with shipments expected to begin in June or July.

Production of Apple products in Vietnam may also be expanding to the iPhone, as DigiTimes reported yesterday that Apple has asked its ‌iPhone‌ manufacturing partners to expand production in India and Vietnam. Key partner Foxconn already has significant assembly facilities in the country.


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When to Expect New AirPods, Including Rumored ‘Studio’ and ‘X’ Models

Rumors suggest that Apple plans to expand its AirPods lineup with two new models later this year, including high-end, over-ear “AirPods Studio” and in-ear “AirPods X” with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. This would be followed by refreshes to both the regular AirPods and the AirPods Pro in 2021.



Here is where rumors stand:

  • AirPods Studio — Summer or Fall 2020: Apple plans to release high-end over-ear headphones with noise cancellation this year, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that mass production of the headphones will begin in mid 2020, with shipments to Apple reportedly set to begin in June or July. The headphones will be named AirPods Studio and retail for $349, according to Jon Prosser, host of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech. Prosser said the headphones could be announced at WWDC 2020, which kicks off June 22.

  • AirPods X — Fall 2020: Last month, Prosser claimed that Apple was planning to release so-called “AirPods X” around September or October with a BeatsX-like design for running and exercising. Kuo acknowledged this rumor, noting that any new AirPods model coming in the second half of 2020 is “more likely to be the new Beats model.”

  • AirPods — Spring 2021: Third-generation AirPods will enter mass production in the first half of 2021, according to Kuo, suggesting that the regular AirPods will not be refreshed until next year. Kuo expects internal design changes, but he did not indicate if there will be any external changes. The original AirPods launched in December 2016, followed by a second-generation refresh in March 2019.
  • AirPods Pro — Fall 2021: Second-generation AirPods Pro will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, according to Kuo, suggesting that a refresh is well over a year away. No further details are known. The current AirPods Pro launched at the end of October 2019.

Keep track of our various AirPods roundups linked below for the latest rumors.

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, AirPods Studio
Buyer’s Guide: AirPods (Neutral), AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, “When to Expect New AirPods, Including Rumored ‘Studio’ and ‘X’ Models” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Hands-On With Comply’s Foam Tips for AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro ship with silicone tips that fit inside the ears, but people who prefer the tighter or more comfortable fit of foam have been modding their earbuds to add a foam layer. That’s no longer necessary, as well-known earphone tips company Comply is now shipping its foam tips that are compatible with AirPods Pro.

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We picked up a pair of the new Comply Foam Tips for ‌AirPods Pro‌ and tested them out in our latest YouTube video to see how they fit and whether they’re an improvement over the silicone tips that the ‌AirPods Pro‌ ship with.

Comply’s Foam Tips for ‌AirPods Pro‌ are priced at $25 and come with three sets. You can get a mix of sizes to test out, or, if you know your ideal size, you can get a set of three all in the same small, medium, or large size.


Using the Comply tips is pretty simple. Just pop off the existing silicone tips (unravel the silicone a bit and give it a good pull) then take the appropriate Comply tip and roll it on. The Comply tips don’t have the same snap-in connector that Apple’s default silicone tips have, which is worth noting. You need to be sure to attach the Comply tips properly to make sure the tips don’t accidentally come off.

Once the tips are secured on the ‌AirPods Pro‌, insert the ‌AirPods Pro‌ into your ears and the foam will take shape in the ear, expanding to fit the ear canal. Comply says the tips are equipped with WaxGuard to prevent earwax build up.


Apple’s silicone tips are plenty comfortable and fit well for most people, but we found the foam tips from Comply to be preferable for long periods of use. Listening to music for a few hours with the foam tips resulted in less ear fatigue.

Sound quality is about the same with the foam tips compared to the default silicone tips, but people who weren’t able to get a good seal with silicone may find the sound better with the foam. Because of the way the foam expands in the ear, Apple’s Active Noise Cancellation seems to work a bit better.


When it comes to charging, the ‌AirPods Pro‌ fit into the Charging Case perfectly with the foam tips attached, so there’s no impact on charging. Unfortunately, the tips only come in a black foam color, so they don’t quite match well with the white ‌AirPods Pro‌.


If you’re someone who prefers a foam tip earbud to a silicone tip, the Comply Foam Tips may be worth checking out. They can be ordered from Comply’s website and are expected to ship out at the end of the month.

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Apple’s Greg Joswiak on AirPods Growth: ‘It Was Almost Like Wildfire’

Apple’s AirPods have been doing better than the company could have ever imagined, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing Greg Joswiak said in a new report by Wired. Joswiak notes how the growth of AirPods “was almost like wildfire.”


Joswiak touched upon Apple’s vision for a wireless future. Apple crossed a pivotal point in its push towards a wireless future with the controversial decision to remove the headphone jack from its iPhone lineup beginning in 2016 with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

We had this incredible wireless product, the iPhone. And yet, what began to feel odd is when you saw somebody using wired headphones. Right then you thought, why would you attach the wire?

Joswiak also shared some of the development stages of the AirPods lineup.

We had done work with Stanford to 3D-scan hundreds of different ears and ear styles and shapes in order to make a design that would work as a one-size solution across a broad set of the population. With AirPods Pro, we took that research further – studied more ears, more ear types. And that enabled us to develop a design that, along with the three different tip sizes, works across an overwhelming percentage of the worldwide population.

Apple recently reported its financial results for the second fiscal quarter of 2020, and Apple CEO Tim Cook proudly announced that a quarterly record for wearables had been set. In the first fiscal quarter of 2020, Cook had also announced that Apple’s wearables category had set a new all-time revenue record. In addition, it was mentioned that Apple’s wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 150 company.

Apple’s first generation AirPods were first launched alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016. Since then, Apple’s second-generation AirPods launched in March 2019, while the AirPods Pro were released at the end of October.

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Apple Provides Advice to AirPods Pro Users Experiencing Noise Cancellation or Crackling Sound Issues

In recent months, some AirPods Pro users have been complaining about reduced noise cancellation and crackling or static sounds, particularly since the release of firmware version 2B588 for the earphones in November.


As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple has now addressed these potential issues in two support documents here and here, providing affected users with troubleshooting advice.

For users experiencing noise cancellation issues, Apple first says to make sure that you have the latest software installed on your connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Apple has also just released a new firmware version 2D15 for the AirPods Pro, which should automatically install after the earphones are connected to an Apple device for a short period.

Next, Apple says to place both AirPods Pro in your ears and perform the obvious step of making sure that Active Noise Cancellation is turned on.

If noise cancellation still isn’t working as expected, Apple says to clean the mesh located on the top of your AirPods Pro, noting that sometimes noise cancellation can be affected if debris or earwax builds up in the area highlighted below. In particular, Apple says this buildup could result in a loss of bass sound or an increase in ambient noise.


As for crackling or static sounds, Apple again says to make sure that you have the latest software on your connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, and to ensure that there are no wireless interference or obstructions between you and your device. Apple also recommends listening to audio from a different app to see if a particular app causes the issue.

If all else fails, Apple says to contact its support representatives.

Since the release of firmware version 2D15 yesterday, there has been mixed feedback about noise cancellation, with some users noticing an improvement, some noticing no change, and some noticing further degradation.


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Apple Updates AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 2D15

Apple today released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro, upgrading the previous firmware, version 2C54 or 2B588, to the new firmware, 2D15.


There is no word on what’s new in the refreshed firmware at this time, though there have been some complaints from ‌AirPods Pro‌ users about Active Noise Cancellation issues with the prior firmware.

There’s no clear cut way to upgrade the firmware of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, with the new firmware installed over-the-air while the AirPods are connected to an iOS device. Putting the ‌‌AirPods‌‌ in the case, connecting the ‌‌AirPods‌‌ to a power source, and then pairing the ‌‌AirPods‌‌ to an iPhone or an iPad should force the update after a short period of time.

Check your ‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the ‌‌AirPods‌‌ are connected to your iOS device.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap About.
  5. Tap ‌‌AirPods‌‌.
  6. Look at the number next to “Firmware Version.”

Apple in December released the 2C54 firmware update, but later pulled it, so some people who updated have the 2C54 firmware while others are still on 2B588.

‌AirPods Pro‌ firmware updates often include performance improvements, bug fixes, and feature tweaks, but we may not find out what’s new as Apple does not provide any kind of release notes for ‌‌AirPods‌ updates. There is no update for the standard ‌AirPods‌ at this time.

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Kuo: Mass Production on Third-Gen AirPods Starting in First Half of 2020, Design Unchanged But New Internals

Apple is working on third-generation AirPods that will go into mass production during the first half of 2020, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors today.


The new ‌AirPods‌ will adopt the System-in-Package used for the AirPods Pro, replacing the rigid-flex PCB+SMT design of the second-generation ‌AirPods‌. Kuo says that these internal updates will be the biggest change to the third-generation ‌AirPods‌, suggesting the update will not include design changes and will continue to look like second-generation ‌AirPods‌.

The third-generation ‌AirPods‌ will go to mass production in 1H20, and the most significant change of the internal design of this new model is the adoption of SiP to replace the rigid-flex PCB+SMT design of second-generation ‌AirPods‌. We believe that Apple will pull in this new model because of the declining demand for second-generation ‌AirPods‌. Luxshare ICT will be the main supplier for this new model.

There have been rumors that Apple is working on a set of ‌AirPods Pro‌ without Active Noise Cancellation that will feature the ‌AirPods Pro‌ design at a lower price point, but Kuo does not mention these earbuds.

He does, however, say that the market is expecting a new ‌AirPods‌ model in the second half of 2020, but that this is more likely to be a new set of Beats instead of a new set of ‌AirPods‌, so it’s possible all of the “‌AirPods Pro‌ Lite” rumors are referencing new headphones in the Beats lineup.

As for the ‌AirPods Pro‌, Kuo says that a new model will go into mass production in the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, which suggests no ‌AirPods Pro‌ refresh in 2020 or early 2021. We can expect Apple’s high-end over-ear headphones in 2020, though, as Kuo says that these will enter mass production in mid-2020.

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DigiTimes: New AirPods to Feature AirPods Pro Design Without Noise Cancellation

Apple plans to release new AirPods with the same design as the existing AirPods Pro but without active noise cancellation, allowing for a lower price point, according to supply chain sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes.


The paywalled report claims that Apple originally planned to unveil the new AirPods in May 2020, and while Apple has apparently not yet made any adjustments to that release schedule, the supply chain sources believe that Apple may have to postpone the launch to the second half of 2020 or even 2021 due to the global health crisis.

An excerpt from the report:

Apple may have to defer the launch of its new AirPods Pro to the second half of 2020 or even 2021, according to sources at related suppliers.

Apple originally planned to unveil the new AirPods Pro in May 2020, but the schedule may be pushed back, as Apple has been unable to send staff to the production lines in Asia to inspect the status of the TWS earbuds due to the coronavirus outbreak, the sources noted.

But Apple so far has not yet made any adjustments to the earbuds’ release schedule, the sources said.

The report refers to the earphones as new AirPods Pro, but it is quite possible these could end up being regular third-generation AirPods.

The current lineup includes second-generation AirPods with a wired charging case for $159, second-generation AirPods with a wireless charging case for $199, and AirPods Pro with a wireless charging case for $249.

Over the weekend, leaker Jon Prosser said new AirPods are “ready to go” and will “probably” launch next month.

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DigiTimes: New AirPods Pro Likely Deferred Until Second Half of 2020 or Later

Apple Music on the Web Exits Beta

Last September, Apple launched a web-based Apple Music experience, offering users a similar experience to the Mac version of the Music app with “For You,” “Browse,” and “Radio” sections, along with playlists, recommendations and more.
As of today, Apple Music on the web has exited beta and is now available at music.apple.com. The previous beta.music.apple.com address automatically forwards…

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New AirPods Allegedly Ready to Launch, Possibly Next Month

Next generation AirPods that were allegedly supposed to be announced at Apple’s rumored March event are ready to launch, according to Jon Prosser of the YouTube channel Front Page Tech. Prosser believes the new ‌AirPods‌ could launch sometime next month, although he is not firm on timing yet.



It is unclear at this time as to what new features Apple’s next-generation ‌AirPods‌ will sport. One possibility is that the earphones will feature the same in-ear design as the AirPods Pro without Active Noise Cancellation.

In February, Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes made a passing reference to upcoming “AirPod Pro Lite” earphones without offering any details on the product, leading to confusion about whether this would be a third-generation version of the regular ‌AirPods‌ or a new member of the ‌AirPods Pro‌ family.

Prosser believes the new ‌AirPods‌ could launch alongside the rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh next month. He also recently claimed that Apple is targeting WWDC to launch new high-end over-ear headphones and September-October to launch BeatsX-like “‌AirPods‌ X.”

Related Roundups: AirPods 2, AirPods Pro
Tags: AirPods Pro Lite, Jon Prosser
Buyer’s Guide: AirPods (Neutral), AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, “New AirPods Allegedly Ready to Launch, Possibly Next Month” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums


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