We’re well into 2021 and there’s been no shortage of rumours and speculation about the AirPods Pro 2. With Apple’s Spring Loaded event, could we get some concrete info on the upcoming ANC earbuds?
Knowing Apple, that would be unlikely, given they only reveal products when they’re ready. That hasn’t stopped many online prognosticators from giving it a go, with rumours suggesting the new AirPods Pro will take a step further with its design, and could go on sale at the end of 2021. They’re tentatively titled as AirPods Pro Gen 2.
With the AirPods Max in the wild, all eyes are now the next true wireless earbuds, with the AirPods 3 thought to be coming in 2021, also.
Here are all the news, rumours and leaks about the AirPods Pro 2 wireless earbuds.
How much will the AirPods Pro 2 cost?
The current AirPods Pro retail for £249 / $249. Rumours suggest they’ll be no change for the upcoming earbuds.
LeaksApplePro tweeted they’d have a price $249 (likely £249) and that they wouldn’t be as big an update over the current gen versions. Considering that the Pro are Apple’s premium wireless earbud, we don’t expect much change.
When will the AirPods Pro 2 be released?
Ming-Chi Kuo, prognosticator with an Apple crystal ball, believes the second-gen AirPods Pro will be released in the second half of 2021.
Other speculation indicates they’d go into production in the latter half of 2021, for a Q1 2022 release. A Bloomberg report from October 2020 indicated the AirPods Pro 2 would launch alongside the revamped AirPods 3, which is an idea that sounds like it could be a goer, given the AirPods 3 were said to be pencilled in for an early 2021 launch. That time window is elapsing and fast.
Other sources have mooted an earlier release date. Japanese blog Mac Otakara suggested could go on sale as early as April 2021 alongside an iPhone SE model. Given Apple is doing its Spring Loaded event on April 20th, perhaps there’s legs in this rumour. We don’t expect them to be unveiled at the event, but you never know with Apple…
What will the next AirPods Pro look like?
Rumours point to the new AirPods Pro having a more radical design for its 2nd gen incarnation. According to Bloomberg’s sources, the AirPods Pro 2 will drop the stem completely. A design currently being used in tests has a more rounded shape that “fills more of a user’s ear”. It suggests something more along the lines of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
That contrasts with what Ming-Chi Kuo had to say a couple of months, reporting they’ll look the same, with just the internals set to be updated.
That’s not to say that the stem-less design will be the final one. Integrating ANC, antennas, controls and microphones into a smaller AirPods Pro casing has proved challenging according to the Bloomberg report, so it may turn out that Kuo is right.
The charging case is another feature rumoured to be getting a few changes, though the changes sound minor. The case may be taller and thinner than before. Whether that means more battery life is not known yet.
What features will the new AirPods Pro have?
The first-gen AirPods Pro had active noise cancellation, Transparency Mode, IPX4 resistance and Qi wireless charging.
We’d expect the Gen 2 Pro to have all the features the current AirPods range packs, and that includes Spatial Audio and Auto-switching.
Otherwise, according to the tweet from LeaksApplePro, the Gen 2 version will be a modest update: slightly better noise-cancelling, better battery life and ambient light sensors.
The latter we’ve heard about before. According to a report by DigiTimes/MacRumours, the light sensors could track heart rate, detect health conditions, motion, as well as other physical movements. If true that would help push the AirPods Pro 2 into the health realm and give them the potential to be one of the best running headphones on the market.
Apple’s health aspirations have long been known, and the Apple Watch has received a number of updates in this area. Could the AirPods Pro receive the same attention? 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.
We do wonder if they’ll be crossover with the new features that have come to the Apple Watch Series 6. It would make a certain degree of sense.
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