The AirPods Pro are Apple’s answer to high-end true wireless earbuds, offering an improved fit, active noise cancellation, Dolby Atmos audio support and much more – but even capable buds like the AirPods Pro can grow long in the tooth, and fans are beginning to think about the next-gen AirPods Pro 2.
While there are disputes about the changes on offer, the new AirPods Pro could feature an even smaller design alongside improved ANC capabilities when they’re released in 2022. Here’s all you need to know.
When will the AirPods Pro 2 release?
While there were several reports claiming the AirPods Pro 2 could appear in the first half of 2021, as we now know, that never happened.
They also didn’t launch at Apple’s early September event when it introduced a new 10.2in iPad, iPad mini, Apple Watch 7, and iPhone 13 – but there wasn’t even a mention of the expected AirPods 3, let alone the next Pro pair.
So, when should we expect to see the next-gen Pro earbuds?
Ming-chi Kuo suggested back in April 2020 that the AirPods Pro 2 won’t go into mass production until Q4 2021 with release set for Q1 2022. While not much was said for over a year, Kuo then reiterated the claim in a June 2021 note to investors, suggesting the timeline could be set in stone.
The good news is that the AirPods 3 are still expected to release later this year if you can’t wait to get your hands on a new pair of Apple-branded buds.
How much will the AirPods Pro 2 cost?
The good news – if you can call it good considering the premium price of the buds – is that Apple is looking to keep the AirPods Pro 2 at the same £249/$249 price tag as the original Pro buds. It makes sense considering just how popular the AirPods Pro are, even close to two years after release, still managing to attract an audience at the high-end price tag.
We’ve got a roundup of the best true wireless earbuds if you’re on the market for something a little cheaper and, y’know, available to buy right now.
AirPods Pro 2 design
Most rumours up until this point have been focused on the AirPods 3, which are said to sport the same design as the first-gen AirPods Pro – complete with swappable silicone eartips – but a late 2020 Bloomberg report sheds some light on possible design changes from the upcoming Pro buds.
According to the publication, Apple is looking to make the AirPods Pro 2 even more compact, possibly by removing the stem that houses the beamforming mics and other smart technology. If Apple goes ahead with the redesign, the AirPods Pro 2 could look similar in shape to the stemless Samsung Galaxy Buds or second-gen Google Pixel Buds.
The problem, it seems, is fitting all the required tech into an even smaller design, with Apple reportedly struggling to integrate the various antennae, microphones and tech into a stemless AirPod chassis. That could have implications on the overall design plans depending on how development pans out in the coming months.
It’s also said that the AirPods Pro 2 charging case could be slightly thinner and taller, measuring in at 46mm tall and 54mm wide respectively compared to the 45.2mm x 60.6mm dimensions of the current case, but that likely won’t be noticeable unless you put both cases side-by-side.
AirPods Pro 2 features
There aren’t many details about the new tech and features the AirPods Pro 2 could offer, but you should expect the same headline features – including ANC, transparency mode and Dolby Atmos support – as the first-gen buds.
There are whispers about the standard AirPods 3 offering advanced features like ambient light sensors that could enable health tracking capabilities, and it’s highly likely that if it’s available on the standard model, it’ll also be available on the Pro model, but it’s far from confirmed right now.
Twitter leaker @LeaksApplePro suggests that there won’t be a huge upgrade on offer from the second-gen buds, claiming that there will only be slight improvements to battery life and noise cancellation and comparing it to the minimal update between the first- and second-gen AirPods.