We’ve already heard rumors that Apple is planning to add a high-fidelity, lossless tier to its Apple Music streaming service, and announce it alongside the launch of the AirPods 3, and now we’ve got a rumored date for the big day: May 18.
That information comes from YouTuber Luke Miani via AppleTrack. The announcements will apparently happen via a press release rather than one of the prerecorded launch event shows that we’ve got used to seeing from Apple over the last year.
While this date isn’t coming from one of the most well-known tipsters on the Apple scene, it does make sense – rumors around both the AirPods 3 and Apple Music HiFi have been picking up pace in recent weeks, and there’s no doubt that Apple would love to take some headlines away from the Google IO 2021 event happening on the same day.
There are more clues that an Apple Music HiFi launch is imminent as well. References to high-fidelity music playback have been spotted in both the iOS 14.6 beta (via 9to5Mac) and more recently in the Apple Music app for Android (via 9to5Google).
Something in the Air(Pods)
At the moment it’s not clear if the lossless audio plan for Apple Music is going to cost users extra or just get rolled into the existing plan so everyone gets upgraded. Spotify’s own HiFi music streaming tier is launching later this year, with pricing yet to be revealed.
With services like Tidal and Deezer also offering lossless audio plans for users who really want to hear every note in the best possible quality, it makes sense for Apple to want to catch up – and it would be the perfect opportunity for it to launch the AirPods 3 too.
The next generation of Apple’s basic wireless earbuds are now long overdue. We thought they might appear at the Spring Loaded event in March: we got new iPad Pros, new iMacs, new AirTags and a new Apple TV box, but no new AirPods.
From the leaks we’ve seen so far, the AirPods 3 will come sporting shorter stems (like the AirPods Pro), with a refreshed charging case and detachable silicone eartips in the box. If the latest rumor is correct, we’ll know everything on Tuesday.