New Beats Pill spotted in iOS 17.5 beta — what we know so far

 Potential new Beats Pill speakers in red, black, gold.
Potential new Beats Pill speakers in red, black, gold.

Just days after being dumped from the playoffs, LeBron James, the tech-leaker, might be gaining some steam. After the superstar basketball player was spotted with a speaker that resembled a Beats Pill, new leaks from within Apple’s iOS seem to confirm that an updated Beats Pill is coming.

MacRumors first spotted images of a new Beats Pill speaker in the iOS 17.5 beta, which is currently running for testers. The photos show three different colors of the latest portable speaker: red, black and gold. However, based on what we saw LeBron James carrying, it might be more rose gold. Alternatively, there might be more colorways than just the three.

Beats and Apple have kept mum about any new speakers. The last thing Beats announced was the Beats Solo 4 buds. We recently reviewed the Beats Solo 4 over-ear headphones and found them excellent.

Beats hasn’t released a new portable speaker since the Beat Pill+ in 2022. Reviewers praised the Pill+ for its quality sound but decried the high price point ($230 at launch).

The speaker that James carried in photos taken of him shows a lanyard. The images found in the iOS 17.5 beta don’t show a lanyard but don’t show much else.

We expect a new Beats Pill will have the aforementioned lanyard and most likely improved Bluetooth technology. Recent headphones have all featured USB-C charging; we imagine that trend will continue with a new Beats speaker.

Beats will have some competition if they jump back into the speaker pool. We were recently wowed by Sony’s ULT Field 1 during a hands-on test in London. And Bose just announced a super-sized sequel to the excellent SoundLink Flex speaker in the SoundLink Max.

The ULT Field 1 and the SoundLink Flex retail for between $120 and $150. Here’s hope a new Beats Pill could get closer to that price than the $399 of the forthcoming SoundLink Max.

Finally, we would caution professional athletes from wandering around with unreleased Beats speakers. F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo was also spotted with one during the Grand Prix in Miami this past weekend. Like James and the Lakers, Ricciardo and his Red Bull car were losers on the day and lucky not to finish in last place, though a distant 15th out of 20 isn’t that much better. Perhaps leaking Beats is terrible luck.

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