And it becomes obvious why it’s going quiet with the suggestion that the AirPods Pro 2 are scheduled for a release in 2022.
That’s not a bad showing, and if Apple continues to that pace then there’s little need for the Cupertino giant to reduce the price. Expect £249/$249 for the AirPods Pro 2. Released in the second half of 2021
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the AirPods Pro 2 will look the same, with just the internals set to be updated.
One of our main complaints was the fiddly nature of the capacitive stem, which not the most responsive. Apple’s surprising reluctance to have the earbuds in anything other than glossy white means they attract dirt easily. More finishes would make them distinctive, as well as add an aspect of personalisation.
New features we expect the next Pro to have include the recently announced Spatial Audio and Auto-switching. When it launches, Spatial Audio will grant the support for 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Auto-Switching allows the headphones to switch instantly between connected iOS devices. Count on these features to be supported by the next-gen AirPod Pro model.
There’s also been plenty of scuttlebutt Apple’s aspirations with health related functionality. Patently Apple spied a 2017 patent request about a range of biometric features that could be included in future AirPods. This list of features includes a heart-rate sensor, and it’s thought to be arriving in the second-half of 2021, which neatly converges with the reported release date of the AirPods Pro 2.
According to a report by DigiTimes/MacRumours, Apple may integrate light sensors into all its AirPod headphones. This will track heart rate, detect health conditions, motion as well as other physical movements.
And there’s room for improvements. Battery life is 4.5 hours with ANC on, which is short of the 7-8 hours more recent wireless earbuds are capable of. Manual adjustment of noise-cancellation would be on our wishlist too. While Apple says that the ANC of the AirPods Pro is constantly adjusted at 220-times per second, the ability for the user to set this level themselves would result in a better and, well, more adaptable performance.
And that is all the info we’ve gleaned about the next-gen AirPods Pro. We’re sure that once Apple has got its slew of releases for 2020 out of the way, the rumour mill will start up again.
Among the biggest changes coming to the new AirPods Pro will be a new stemless design that more closely resembles wireless earbuds released by competitors like Samsung, according to Bloomberg. The new standard AirPods are said to retain the trademark stems that protrude from the ears, but Apple is reportedly hoping to shorten them
The report backs up previous rumors that the new AirPods will look more similar to the AirPods Pro with shorter ear stems and silicone ear tips – but they won’t come with active noise cancellation like their pricier siblings
Happily, Apple is apparently looking to improve the battery life of the AirPods, which currently comes in at a rather meagre 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro will apparently get a much bigger design overhaul, eliminating the ear stems altogether, for a “more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s ear” – perhaps taking a few design cues from the Samsung Galaxy Buds and the Google Pixel Buds.
That design isn’t set in stone, however. Bloomberg says that fitting the features of the AirPods Pro, including the antennas and microphones, into a more compact build has been a challenge so far, which “could result in a less ambitious design when the final product is finalized”.
Some of the slated releases in Apple’s 2020 product lineup have experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With DigiTimes pointing towards a first half 2021 launch for the AirPods 3, it seems safe to say the AirPods Pro follow-up won’t be on store shelves anytime soon. The most recent hint at the AirPods Pro 2 release date comes via a Bloomberg report from October 2020, claiming that the new buds may be announced as soon as 2021.
Back in July, DigiTimes also reported the next AirPods Pro version would see the light of day “in the second half of next year.” Go-to analyst for all things Apple, Ming-Chi Kuo, has claimed the AirPods Pro 2 will go into production from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022, as reported by MacRumors.
LeaksApplePro also says the buds won’t be around until Q4 2021 at the earliest, possibly as late as Q1 2021. So you’re going to have to be patient if you want a pair for yourself.
Our prediction: Holiday 2021. Apple seems committed to the AirPods’ long stem silhouette. We don’t particularly love it, but we do commend the designers behind the AirPods Pro for enhancing the overall aesthetics and comfort of the buds. The black grille for ventilation, ergonomic fit via bundled ear tips, and shortened stems with user-friendly pinch controls were surprisingly great additions. We didn’t see any major design changes from the AirPods to the AirPods 2, and our gut tells us the same will happen with the AirPods Pro series.
However, a late 2020 report from Bloomberg suggests that the AirPods Pro could get an all-new design that drops the infamous stems. Bloomberg’s sources suggest that a current prototype design looks more like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live or Google Pixel Buds 2.
It’s almost a given that the AirPods Pro 2 will have the same system-in-package (SIP) design of the original version, which is also rumored for the AirPods 3. This allows Apple’s ANC circuitry and powerful H1 chip to fit in a more compact design.
AppleInsider got its hands on a note to investors from Kuo that mentioned the AirPods 3 would take on a “new form factor” and resemble the AirPods Pro. If so, then Apple will stick with the Pro design and make small, unnoticeable changes to it such as better ear tips and sweatproof protection. In addition, the AirPods Pro 2 will probably be manufactured from recyclable parts like the first-gen version.
This includes an advanced transparency mode to warn users of incoming hazards, bone conduction technology, third-party app support, and compatibility with the upcoming Apple AirTags to make locating misplaced AirPods simpler. All or most of these could end up being featured on the AirPods Pro 2, but don’t quote on us this.
You can expect many iOS 14 goodies to come part of the package as well like automatic switching, Dolby Atoms support, and spatial audio that will create a theater-like experience for listeners. Another feature to keep on your radar is Headphones Accommodation for frequency adjustments and sound amplification, along with Hearing Health, which provides updates to users on whether they’re listening to music too loudly.
Then there is this patent discovered by PatentlyApple, which shows Apple working on a new navigation system that builds on the AirPods Pro’s force sensor controls. It suggests the use of on-device capacitive sensors that, when tapped, enable a mode to perform in-air gestures. This would trigger different actions that could likely be assigned or customized in the settings.
Is this the time in which Apple brings USB-C charging to the AirPods? If we’re going based on the images posted by infamous Apple leakers Jon Prosser and Mr·white, then there may be some truth to this theory. Prosser posted details and renderings of the upcoming Apple Studio, saying the headphones would have a USBC port and no headphone jack.