AirPods Pro 2: what we know about the rumored Apple earbuds

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The AirPods Pro 2 is speculated to be the follow-up to Apple’s extremely popular AirPods Pro truly wireless earphones, with a 2022 release date.
Right now, there are four AirPods models to select from, and reports suggest that the next model in the line will be the most advanced yet, with increased noise cancellation, lossless music support, and fitness features.

If the different AirPods are confusing you, remember that the AirPods Pro is different from the regular 2019 AirPods and the newer AirPods 3 in that they include active noise cancellation, which means they can filter out part of the ambient noise around you so you can focus on your music. The AirPods Max is the first and only over-ear headphones from the company.
The AirPods Pro 2 are claimed to be the next-generation version of Apple’s noise-canceling earphones, with all reports pointing to a 2022 release date – though that date has shifted a few times, with earlier leaks suggesting they’d arrive last year. The AirPods Pro 2 has been rumored to be released in late 2022, but it’s always conceivable that we’ll see them during Apple’s ‘Spring’ presentation on March 8.
What we don’t know is if the Apple AirPods Pro 2 will be an improvement to the AirPods Pro or a less expensive version of the Pro, dubbed the AirPods Pro ‘Lite’ instead. According to a leak from 2020, they’ll cost the same as the previous edition, not less.

We’re looking for some major changes to Apple’s premium true wireless earbuds once they arrive. Here’s everything we know about the rumored Apple AirPods 2 earphones so far, as well as a few crucial improvements we’d want to see.

AirPod2 Pro Price

According to industry expert Ming-Chi Kuo, the AirPods Pro 2 will most likely be released in 2022. He predicted that a new AirPods model will be released in 2021, as well as a new AirPods Pro model in 2022. (via AppleInsider). He went on to suggest that the AirPods Pro 2 would be available in late 2022, in the fourth quarter of this year (October, November, or December).

In October of 2021, Apple held a large event, at which the AirPods 3 were unveiled, and the firm might do the same this year. It’s also feasible that the AirPods Pro 2 will be introduced in September, in conjunction with a new iPhone.

That’s backed up by information from @FrontTron (via MacRumors), who claims that the introduction of the premium wireless earphones has been moved back from Q2 2022 to Q3. The reason for the delay was not stated, but given how much technology has been delayed owing to chip shortages, it’s not unexpected.

It’s worth mentioning that Apple is holding an event on March 8 when the iPhone SE 3 and iPad 5 are expected to be unveiled, as well as three new Macs. We won’t be holding our breath for a surprise revelation because the AirPods Pro 2 aren’t anticipated to ship until later this year, but we’ll be watching anyway, especially since the rumors around this event have been heating up over the last week.

Apple has yet to confirm that a new pair of AirPods is in the works, much alone offering us a release date for the AirPods Pro 2. However, the original AirPods Pro was released in 2019, and is almost certainly due for an upgrade in the near future – and speculation about the next Apple noise-canceling earphones is heating up.

AirPods2 Pro Price

The AirPods Pro 2 will cost the same as their predecessors ($249 / £249 / AU$399), according to a tweet from LeaksApplePro.

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The new earphones will not be an entry-level version of the AirPods Pro, according to prior rumors (hence the AirPods Pro-Lite name). So it’s possible that they’re an improved version.

If we do receive a budget-friendly version of the AirPods Pro 2, it will really shake up the market with a pair of Apple earbuds that are truly reasonable.

However, we don’t believe that’s very realistic; when Apple introduced the AirPods 3, it cut the price of the AirPods 2, making them the cheapest AirPods available right now. We don’t see Apple lowering the $129 / £119 / AU$219 price tag for a set of noise-canceling earphones with greater features.

AiePods2 Pro Design

According to a Bloomberg story citing “people familiar with the preparations,” Apple may redesign the AirPods Pro in 2021, removing the ear stems entirely in favor of a “more rounded form that covers more of a user’s ear” – perhaps drawing design ideas from the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Google Pixel Buds.
However, now that we’re in 2022, it’s evident that we haven’t seen any of these. Perhaps this article was referring to the AirPods 3, which do feature a new design, but one that does not eliminate the stems — only shortens them.
It’s possible that the Bloomberg report is referring to the Pro 2, but it has already been released. It claims that putting the AirPods Pro’s components, such as antennae and microphones, into a more compact form has been difficult so far, and that this “may result in a less ambitious design when the final product is finished.”
If Apple decides to preserve the protruding stems, we’d want to have haptic feedback when you touch them — it would bring a level of tactility to the user experience that we believe would be quite useful.
We’ve also seen supposed leaked photographs of the AirPods Pro 2 and their charging case, which look to feature speaker holes (perhaps for producing a beeping sound when misplaced like the AirTag) – but we’re not certain they’re real. The photographs were obtained by MacRumors from an alleged Apple inside source, albeit the source refused to provide any other information and does not have a track record.
The images themselves are dubious at best. We don’t see Apple drilling three massive holes in the bottom of the otherwise streamlined charging case. What about the metal loop on which a carrying strap could be attached? We think it’s a waste of time.
The image doesn’t show the AirPods Pro 2 missing its ear stems, and a source told MacRumors that this particular rumor was false.
So, what are our expectations for the AirPods Pro 2? The AirPods Pro 2 might benefit from some ear fins to cater to the jogging audience. While we found the AirPods Pro to be pretty safe during workouts, any added security might win over dedicated fans of the Beats Powerbeats Pro with ear hooks.
Another approach to rob Beats (and hence itself) of some custom? The AirPods Pro 2 now comes in a variety of attractive colors. We’d love to see truly wireless earbuds in the same space gray and rose gold hues as some iPhone and MacBook Pro models, but given Apple’s track record with all-white AirPods, we don’t believe this is realistic.

Alex
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