Apple is expected to release the AirPods Pro 2 in 2022. This new generation is rumored to bring a new design, innovative lossless support and fitness sensors for the first time. Continue below as we round up the latest rumors about this product.
AirPods Pro 2: new form factor?
By early 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the AirPods Pro 2 would feature a new form factor design closer to the 2021 Beats Fit Pro. With that, these wireless earbuds would lose their heck as they likely feature an in-ear wingtip design.
In this case, the charging case of the AirPods would also be optimized. It is rumored to remain 21mm thick while measuring 46mm in height and 54mm in width. For comparison, the current AirPods Pro charging case is 45.2mm high and 60.6mm wide.
Then in June a new leak through 52audiowhich correctly predicted the design of the AirPods 3 shows that the AirPods Pro 2 will likely feature a similar design to the current generation, but with an adjustment to the earbuds.
So far, no leaker or analyst has predicted new colors for the AirPods Pro 2, although it’s likely that Apple will only keep a white version of the product.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was also the first to report that Apple is planning to add lossless support to the AirPods Pro 2. He wrote back in January:
We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2 in Q4 22 with new selling points, including a new form factor design, support for the Apple Lossless (ALAC) format, and a charging case that can emit a sound, can track the user. We’re bullish on demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate shipments will reach 18-20 million units in 2022.
By the end of 2021, the creator of the AirPods addressed the limitations of Bluetooth in an interview. Gary Geaves, Apple’s VP of Acoustics, has said that Apple would really like a wireless standard that allows for more bandwidth.
“Obviously wireless technology is critical to delivering the content that you’re talking about,” he says, “so we have to be very focused on getting the most out of Bluetooth technology and there are a number of tricks we can use.” play to maximize or circumvent some of Bluetooth’s limitations. But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like to have more bandwidth,” he smiles.
If analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is right, Apple is likely adopting a new standard to offer lossless support with AirPods Pro 2.
New chip and low energy Bluetooth support
9to5Mac Sources confirm that the next-gen AirPods Pro – codenamed B698 – will feature the next version of the H1 chip, Apple’s own audio processor. Additionally, hints at LC3 codec support in the AirPods Max beta firmware tease that AirPods Pro 2 could be the first to add Bluetooth 5.2 support.
This codec brings more stability and efficiency to the wireless earbuds. In addition, this new standard will help AirPods Pro 2 improve the sound quality for voice calls and songs with higher bitrate support. Although low-energy Bluetooth and LC3 codec don’t promise “Lossless Bluetooth”, it will certainly improve the sound quality significantly.
Kuo also believes that “AirPods could support health management features in the future,” confirming previous reports.
An Apple-led study shows how AirPods could be used to monitor respiratory rate. The study found that this audio can be a “viable signal for passively estimating” respiratory rate, which also makes it a more cost-effective method compared to traditional healthcare.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman also believes that the Airpods Pro 2 will have new fitness tracking features:
Apple has tested a new design with an even shorter tail, or none at all, as well as a new motion sensor for fitness.
Additionally, it wouldn’t be that surprising to see Apple add health-tracking capabilities, as an indie developer has released an app that uses AirPods’ sensors to show if your posture is good. Pretty neat, right?
Lightning or USB-C connector?
In May Kuo predicted The fact that the AirPods Pro 2 charging case will still have a Lightning connector for charging dashed hopes of a switch to USB-C this year.
Kuo reported in May that Apple is currently testing the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port for charging. The analyst also predicted that when (or if) iPhone switches to USB-C charging, Apple will also switch AirPods and other accessories to USB-C.
In June, 52audio speculates that the updated charging case for the AirPods Pro 2 will switch to USB-C based on the leaked images, as you can see here.
When will Apple release the AirPods Pro 2?
The original AirPods Pro were first released in late 2019. Ming-Chi Kuo believes the AirPods Pro 2 are expected to go into mass production in the second half of the year. He also notes that the AirPods Pro 2 are made in Vietnam, signaling a reduction in Apple’s reliance on China.
That comes after Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has informed some of its suppliers that it intends to shift production from China to hubs in Vietnam and India.
Previously, Kuo said AirPods Pro 2 would be launched around the fourth quarter of 2022, meaning the product could see the light of day around September to November, depending on Apple’s plan to launch this product alongside new iPhones, Mac or iPads to announce.
How much do the AirPods Pro 2 cost?
As of now, rumors don’t factor in AirPods Pro 2 prices. Currently, the first generation costs $249. If Apple adds new health sensors + lossless support to this product, it’s likely Apple could bump its price up to $50.
It’s also important to take a look at the company’s strategy with AirPods 3. Kuo described it as a “failed product segmentation strategy,” saying Apple will likely discontinue AirPods Pro when the new model launches.
AirPods 3 orders for Q2-Q3 22 have been reduced by over 30%. Due to the failed product segmentation strategy, the demand for AirPods 3 is significantly weaker than AirPods 2. AirPods Pro may be discontinued after Apple launched AirPods Pro 2 in 2H22 to avoid repeating the same mistake.
There’s a lot to be excited about the new AirPods Pro 2. If rumors turn out to be true, expect lossless playback, a new form factor, and health and fitness sensors.
However, if you don’t think you need all of these features, now could be the perfect moment to buy Apple’s original AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and even the 20W charger.
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