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(Pocket-lint) - The illusive next-generation Apple AirPods with noise cancellation will reportedly arrive this month, not 2020 as recently suggested.

Previously known as AirPods 3, it is now said that they will launch before the end of October and be called Apple AirPods Pro - to match the iPad Pro and iPhone 11 Pro naming convention.

According to China Economic Daily and its sources in the "supply chain", the next headphones from Apple will be pitched at a higher level than the current, second-generation AirPods.

They will sport noise reduction technology, although it's not yet known at what extent it will work. Will it be as advanced as the tech used by the Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless in-ears, for example?

That might be tricky considering the alleged shape and design of AirPod Pro earpieces, as revealed in an earlier leak. Whether they can contain the hardware for the same level of adaptive noise cancellation is yet to be seen.

The price looks to be similar though. The source claims that the new Apple headphones will cost more than 8,000 new taiwan dollars - around £260 in the UK, $335 in the US.

That's even more than the Sony's currently cost.

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We'll find out in a matter of weeks, if the rumour turns out to be true.

Writing by Rik Henderson.