AirPods Pro 2 rumours: Release date, new design and everything we’ve heard


The AirPods Pro (pictured) could get an upgrade in 2022.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In addition to winning a MagSafe-compatible case last year, Apple’s AirPods Pro remained largely the same since their launch in 2019. The wireless headphones even maintained the same $249 (£239, AU$399) price tag. But, if the rumors are true, that’s about to change. A new improved version of the AirPods Pro with a refreshed design and other upgrades set to debut this year, and we’re collecting all the hottest rumors.

The stream AirPods Pro brought more premium features like active noise cancellation and a customizable fit to Apple’s wireless headphones. Based on the reports we’ve seen so far, the second-gen model will add other improvements such as a sleeker stemless design, a new charging case, and fitness capabilities. Such changes could be important for Apple to remain competitive against rivals like Samsung, Bose and Sony.

Read more: The best wireless headphones for 2022

AirPods were first marketed as companions to the iPhone 7, the first Apple smartphone without a headphone jack. But in the five years since their launch, AirPods have become the most popular wireless headphones in the world. Apple’s current AirPods lineup, alongside the aforementioned AirPods Pro, includes the $129 AirPods (second generation), $179 AirPods (third generation) and the on-ear at $549 AirPods Max listeners.

Here’s a look at what to expect from the possible AirPods Pro 2.

Read more: Yes, the AirPods 2 are still worth buying, even though the AirPods 3 are pretty awesome

AirPods Pro 2 will likely launch in 2022, possibly Q4

Reports of Bloomberg and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both say the AirPods Pro will arrive in 2022. But it’s unclear when exactly we can expect to see the debut.

Kuo predicts the AirPods Pro 2 will arrive in Q4 2022, according to a research note obtained by MacRumors. This suggests that they could be part of Apple’s product blitz which usually takes place towards the end of the year. For example, Apple announced the iPhone 13
range, the Apple Watch Series 7, AirPods 3 and a new range of MacBook Pro laptops last September and October. Bloomberg, on the other hand, did not specify a 2022 timeframe for the release of the AirPods Pro 2.

Read more: When is the next Apple event?

AirPods Pro 2 can lose stems

It might be time to say goodbye to the glossy white stems that AirPods have had since their launch in 2016. Apple’s next AirPods Pro could have a more low-profile, stemless look similar to the Beats Studio Buds, according to Bloomberg. This report only states that Apple is testing this type of design, so it’s unclear if this will be the final product design.

If this change is made, it would be the first time that Apple has significantly overhauled its true wireless earbuds since the first. AirPods Pro launched in 2019. It would also make the AirPods Pro look like competing headphones from Samsung, Amazon and Bose, among others.


The Beats Studio Buds have a stemless design, unlike Apple’s AirPods.

David Carnoy/CNET

It also raises the question of how Apple will implement touch controls on the upcoming AirPods Pro model. The rods on the house of the current version Apple’s force sensor, which lets you control media playback and access Siri. Without the stalks, Apple would probably have to put those touch controls on the headphones themselves, like the Beats Studio Buds.

The AirPods Pro 2 could also get a new case, according to a Japanese blog Macotakara. This makes sense considering the case would have to be slightly different to match the new bud design. The report gives the dimensions of this new case as being the same as AirPods 3 case, which is water resistant (unlike other Apple AirPods cases).

A recent Kuo investor note, seen by AppleInsider and 9to5Mac, indicates that the next generation AirPods Pro charging case will also be to be able to make a sound. This is said to make it easier to find a lost or misplaced case. In his note, Kuo adds that the AirPods Pro 2 will also feature lossless audio.

Read more: AirPods Pro 2 could get a redesign that ditches the iconic uppers, and that’s a real shame

They might have fitness tracking features

AirPods can do a lot of things, but activity monitoring is not one. Apple could change that soon enough with the AirPods Pro 2, which will include updated motion-tracking sensors for fitness tracking, according to Bloomberg.

The report does not go into further detail, but a Apple patent application from 2017 suggests it could explore ways to measure biometric signals through headphones.

Apple would join companies like Jabra and Amazon, both of which already offer fitness-focused features in their respective wireless headphones. Jabra’s elite sport headphones can track rep count during workouts and heart rate, while the Amazon Echo Buds
can follow the workouts.

Read more: Best Workout Headphones for 2022

What else we expect from the AirPods Pro 2


The AirPods Pro (pictured) launched in 2019 and Apple hasn’t released a new model since.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Although Apple hasn’t said anything about its future plans for the AirPods, we can infer a lot based on the AirPods 3. For example, the $179 AirPods offer slightly better battery life than the two more expensive AirPods Pro. and second-generation AirPods. It seems plausible that Apple will improve the battery life of the AirPods Pro 2 to at least match, if not exceed, that of the AirPods 3.

It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the next AirPods Pro win the The AirPods 3 skin detection sensor, which can more accurately detect when an AirPod comes into contact with the wearer’s ear compared to a different surface.

Read more: Our iPhone SE wishlist: We want to see these updates in 2022

Another lingering question is how much the AirPods Pro 2 will cost. Apple sells the current AirPods Pro for $249, though you can usually find them cheaper elsewhere. We don’t know anything certain about Apple’s future plans.

But if Apple stops the original AirPods Pro when it announces the new ones – a strong possibility – it could keep the $249 price tag for the new model. Apple didn’t change the standard price of AirPods when it launched the second-generation AirPods in 2019. And although the AirPods Pro are a bit pricey compared to some of Apple’s competitors, their popularity has proven that people are ready to pay a higher price. .

If the rumors are correct, it looks like the new design and fitness tracking capabilities will be the biggest upgrades we can expect. These changes might not be enough to sway anyone who has recently purchased the AirPods Pro. But they might be big enough to convince those who bought the originals in 2019 to upgrade. We’ll have to wait for Apple to make an announcement to be sure.

To find out more, see how to find the best AirPods deals, CNET’s list of best apple headphones for 2022 and 21 AirPods tricks you’ll want to try today. You can also take a look at all the rumors we collected about the iPhone 14 and iPhone SE 3.

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