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Apple AirPods Pro 2: Everything we know so far (Updated: July 4)
Update: July 4, 2022 (2:39 AM ET): We’ve added details from a report negating previous rumors about health sensors in the AirPod Pro 2. Read on for the latest.
Original article: May 29, 2022 (4 PM ET): It’s been two years since the original AirPods Pro launched. Needless to say, they are long overdue for a refresh. We’re calling Apple’s next pair of premium wireless earbuds the AirPods Pro 2, but Apple may end up naming them a bit differently, possibly “AirPods Pro 2nd generation.” Nevertheless, the TWS buds are not a complete mystery, thanks to multiple rumors, reports by industry insiders, and leaks. Here’s everything we know about the AirPods Pro 2.
Will there be an Apple AirPods Pro 2?
Apple is yet to even acknowledge the existence of the AirPods Pro 2, but we first got wind of the device from Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo in June 2021. According to Kuo, the second-generation AirPods Pro will boost AirPod shipments to more than 100 million.
The analyst also recently reported that Apple plans to launch the AirPods Pro 2 in 2022. He said that the company might discontinue the existing AirPods Pro once the new ones arrive. So if you were planning on picking up a pair anytime soon, you might want to hold off.
When will the Apple AirPods Pro 2 release date be?
- AirPods — September 7, 2016
- AirPods (2nd generation) — March 20, 2019
- AirPods Pro — October 30, 2019
- Airpods (3rd generation) — October 18, 2021
As of yet, we don’t have an official AirPods Pro 2 release date or even a concrete leaked one. Based on the launch dates of the previous Apple AirPods, we’d expect to see the earbuds drop sometime this fall, possibly alongside the expected iPhone 14 launch in September or a bit later in October.
According to Kuo, the AirPods Pro 2 will arrive late in the second half of 2022. However, as per leaker FronTron, they could launch in the third quarter, which basically means anywhere between July 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022. While the tipster doesn’t have a great track record, they told MacRumors that the information comes from supply chain sources.
Another somewhat reliable leaker who runs iDropNews expects Apple to launch the AirPods Pro 2 at its September event alongside the iPhone 14, which the leaker claims will take place on September 13.
Check out: The best true wireless earbuds
What features and specs will the Apple AirPods Pro 2 have?
The AirPods Pro 2 are said to come with a completely new design. According to a 2020 report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple might make the earbuds smaller by getting rid of the stem at the bottom — think Beats Studio Buds. The company is believed to be testing a “more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s ear.” However, Gurman also said that getting the hardware into a smaller chassis has been a difficult task for Apple, and if it doesn’t work, the plan could be scrapped.
Fitness tracking is one of the most notable rumored features of the AirPods Pro 2. Gurman first reported that the AirPods Pro second generation will get updated motion sensors and a new chip for fitness tracking capabilities. However, he later recanted his claims and said that buds will not get any health tracking features.
“Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year’s model gaining the ability to determine a wearer’s heart rate or body temperature. I’m told that neither feature is likely to arrive in the 2022 upgrade,” Gurman wrote in his July Power On newsletter.
Meanwhile, folks over at 52audio maintain that the AirPods Pro 2 will indeed support new functions like heart rate detection. As per information obtained by the publication, the AirPods Pro 2 will include the H1 chip that also resides in the latest third-gen AirPods, albeit with an upgraded system-in-package.
Interestingly, the leak also says that the AirPods Pro 2 could help folks with hearing disabilities. The charging case is said to feature a microphone for collecting sounds and transmitting them to the earphone for sound enhancement and playback, “helping people with hearing loss get the environment sound.” There’s also apparently a speaker at the bottom of the case that can play the sound, and work with the Find My app to help users get the location of the charging case more quickly.
The alleged chip upgrade on the AirPods Pro 2 is also expected to improve upon functions like Active Noise Cancellation, possibly resulting in a battery life boost.
Apple might switch to USB-C after all.
Speaking of the battery, there’s no reliable information about its capacity or how long the new AirPods will last on a full charge. However, there is some stuff we know about the charging case.
Analyst Kuo previously claimed that the charging case of the new AirPods Pro would be able to emit a sound to help users find it. He expects the case to be water-resistant like the third-generation AirPods charging case. He claims that the buds will stick to the Lightning port for charging. Apple may not be ready to jump on the USB-C bandwagon, at least not before its first iPhone that supports the connector.
That said, a separate leak from 52audio suggests that Apple might switch to USB-C after all. We tend to trust Kuo’s claims more than the publication, but we’ll have to wait and see what Apple does. Especially now that USB-C will soon become mandatory for all gadgets in Europe.
Also read: All the best alternatives for Apple AirPods
At WWDC 2021, Apple announced a couple of new features headed to its existing AirPods. These include support for spatial audio, the ability to announce notifications, Find My app alerts, and a new conversation boost feature to enhance speech. These should also land on the new AirPods Pro since the original model got the upgrade.
As for sound quality improvements, Kuo previously said that the AirPods Pro 2 would support the ALAC audio codec. It’s Apple’s own lossless audio compression technology that stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec.
Apple is reportedly working on a new codec to enable lossless audio.
We’re not sure how Apple would make that happen because its current crop of wireless earbuds and headphones doesn’t support ALAC. That’s because Bluetooth connections aren’t lossless. You require a wired connection to headphones, receivers, or powered speakers to enjoy Apple’s ALAC tracks on Apple Music. That said, LeaksApplePro over at iDropNews says that Apple is working on a new codec that’ll work between iPhones and the AirPods Pro 2 to enable lossless audio.
What will the Apple AirPods Pro 2 price be?
The original AirPods Pro launched for $249. Apple is usually consistent with its pricing, but if the AirPods Pro 2 bring in a bunch of new features and improvements, their price could go up.
Tipster LeaksApplePro expects the AirPods Pro 2 to launch in white at around $299. Compared to that, the third-gen AirPods cost significantly less at $175. Sony’s WF-1000XM4 ($279) earbuds, which are one of the best in the business, are also cheaper.
So those were all the Apple AirPods Pro 2 rumors that we know of. We’re sure we’ll hear more about the earbuds in the coming months. Keep checking back here for all the latest information on the new AirPods. Meanwhile, take the poll below and tell us what features you want the most on the second-gen AirPods Pro.