The iPhone 7 is widely expected to ship without a headphone jack, and that means we should get a new set of Apple EarPods as well. The redesigned headphones already leaked once, but now we’re getting a better look at the new Lightning port earbuds.
The revamped EarPods surfaced on Chinese social network Weibo. The photos were deleted pretty quickly, but not before they could spread to the rest of the internet. They show a pair of earbuds almost identical to Apple’s current design with one big difference: the Lighting connector.
9to5Mac also points out that the casing around the new connector is a lot thicker than usual. It could just be an early production issue, or Apple might be responding to complaints that its headphones cords often fray and snap. A thicker base would presumably make the new EarPods a lot more durable.
It’s also possible the company had to include some extra technology inside the new EarPods. Apple’s Lightning supports higher fidelity audio, which could require a special audio Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC).
Like we said, the rest of the design is pretty standard. The speaker buds look the same, as does the small control panel with its buttons and built-in microphone.
We’d still treat this latest leak with some skepticism, but we’re definitely expecting something along these lines when the iPhone 7 launches later this year. It’s possible Apple could go the Bluetooth route and offer a pair of wireless EarPods instead, but that seems less likely considering the extra cost it would require.