These transparent Apple AirPods look, erm, interesting

(Image credit: Giulio Zompetti/Future owns)

Ah, transparent tech. The trend was everywhere in the nineties and noughties, and we'll never forget our see-through Game Boy. These days, devices are thoroughly opaque – but we've just been given a glimpse at an alternate reality that's taking us straight back to 2001.

New images have revealed prototype AirPods, featuring a striking transparent design. Apple's famous earbuds are, of course, currently available in white, white or white. Compared with the retail version, these AirPods look positively extra. (Happy with white? Check out the best AirPods deals.) 

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Much like the recently released Nothing earphones, these prototype AirPods feature fully visible innards, revealing the battery, W1 chip and, er, lots of glue. They're probably the closest we'll ever get to black AirPods (something Apple fans have been asking for forever), but these are a little more interesting than that. Do we love them? No, there's a little too much going on here. But they're certainly making us nostalgic.

Transparent AirPods

A photo of the prototype AirPods (Image credit: Giulio Zompetti)

While the prototypes, shared by Apple leaker Giulio Zompetti, are likely only see-through to let engineers get a closer look at the inner workings, they're still a tantalising glimpse at what could have been. 

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Translucent tech might be a thing of the past, but the aesthetic could well be due a comeback. This time last year, a Twitter thread (above) went viral, with users reminiscing about their sugary, see-through tech. And hey, with colour returning to the Apple lineup after a long absence, could transparency be next?

Transparent Game Boy

We sure miss our translucent Game Boy (Image credit: Retro Game Collector)

Sadly, we have a feeling see-through AirPods won't be landing any time soon – Apple hasn't shown any desire to change up the colour scheme. Indeed, the recently released AirPods 3 are available in any colour you like – as long as it's white. Still, it's the sound that counts, and the entire AirPods lineup is no slouch in that regard. Check out today's best deals below, and be sure to take a look at the best Apple deals for more great offers.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.