Apple’s best wireless earbuds – the AirPods Pro – have been with us since 2019, which has been a long time in the tech world. But now that we’re just days away from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 event in September, the internet is full of discussions about the AirPods Pro 2, or whatever Apple ends up calling them.
Unconfirmed rumors continue to circulate, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is now certain we’ll see the new AirPods Pro on September 7th. This may not be a 100% chance – nothing is official until Apple officially announces it. But things are definitely going in that direction now.
What will the next AirPods Pro be called?
Apple AirPods (from left), AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro. Before we get into what we expect, let Let’s discuss the name first. While Apple hasn’t been outright against adding numbers to its products in the past — I’m looking at your iPad 2 and iPad 3 — it hasn’t done much of that lately. With the exception of the iPhone lineup (which only occasionally deviates from the number-naming game), nearly all Apple products have kept their names, which means we have to start using year references. A perfect recent example is the latest Apple TV 4K, which the company released in 2021 without changing the product name, so we stick with “Apple TV 4K (2021)”. See where am I going? Apple’s next-generation earbuds may retain the AirPods Pro name. But if they do, you can bet it will add (2022) to clarify those we’re talking about. Don’t be surprised if you see AirPods Pro 2 somewhere, at least when used casually.
So what will the next generation of AirPods Pro prepare for us? As with any Apple update, it will contain new features and improvements to existing ones, with an emphasis on improvements. There is a lot of talk about expanding health and fitness tracking. (More on that later.) Or maybe even with AR features. But anyway, so far, Apple has been completely silent. So we can only wait and see.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency
AirPods Pro still have the best transparency you’ll find in a set of wireless earbuds, but we welcome any improvements Apple manages to add . What we’re most curious about is the ANC feature. In 2019, it proved to be one of the best noise-canceling options you can buy, but there have been plenty of ANC earbuds out since then. While the AirPods Pro are still excellent, they’re not as good as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds or the Sony WF-1000XM4. Expect better ANC from AirPods Pro 2.
AirPods, as a family of wireless earbuds, have always sounded good, but never Neither is very good. However, we do know that Apple can produce truly reliable audio when it wants – just look at the (much more expensive, of course) AirPods Max. If Apple wants to make the AirPods Pro the first choice for Apple fans, it needs to take their audio quality up a notch.
How will Apple improve audio further? A widely rumored option is for the company to add support for lossless audio through the ALAC audio codec. After all, what’s the use of lossless music on Apple Music if you can’t hear it on your earbuds? To do this, Apple will have to work closely between the new AirPods Pro and its phone/tablet/computer, as lossless audio is much more bandwidth-intensive. Qualcomm was the first to introduce lossless audio over Bluetooth with the aptX Lossless codec, but it only works if both the earbuds and the source device use Qualcomm’s technology.
Longer battery life
Apple doesn’t have a track record for putting battery life first — the entire AirPods lineup tends to take the bottom half of the battery life rankings in their respective categories — — but we can always hope. Especially if there were options to disable ANC and lossless audio, we could finally see more than five hours of use on a single charge.
This has been speculated for years, but it never came to fruition. However, it makes a lot of sense. If Apple can leverage the Apple Watch’s sensors to provide a full set of data associated with its Health and Apple Fitness+ products, why not get more from your earbuds? The third-generation AirPods introduce new sensors that take a different approach to wear detection by using infrared light to differentiate between skin and other objects or materials. Could an upgrade of this technology enable other sensing activities such as blood oxygen levels and heart rate? Does it make sense considering the latest Apple Watch already does this? We’ll find out soon.
Apple likes to keep its product prices the same when possible, so it’s a safe bet that the next-gen AirPods Pro will cost the same $249 as the current model . Not only compared to other AirPods models, but also the competition, its price is a sweet spot. That is, unless Apple’s next earbuds are truly surprising.
If Apple does announce the next AirPods Pro at the September iPhone event, they will likely be available for pre-order immediately or within a week, and should be available at Deliveries begin at the end of the month – the first week of October at the latest. When the all-important Black Friday retail event in November arrives, Apple will want people to be very familiar with them for those big holiday purchases.