AirPods Pro 2: Rumored Specs, Features, And More

It's been over two years since Apple released the first AirPods Pro in October 2019, and everything now points to an updated version being right around the corner. It's likely that sometime in 2022, Apple will release the AirPods Pro 2, complete with new specifications, features, and even a new design. What does Apple have in store for the next-generation model?

It seems AirPods Pro users are in for a treat. We may see a redesigned shape without the stem, lossless audio, fitness tracking, and better noise cancellation, among other things. The stemless design is still the subject of some speculation. An ergonomic design, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, may be the right step for Apple, but we will have to wait and see whether the AirPods Pro will keep this unique feature.

While everything is still in the rumor stages and Apple hasn't officially confirmed it, credible sources point towards Apple working on its next pair of wireless earbuds. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported last year that the AirPods Pro would see a refresh in 2022, and MacRumors also cites Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo as another source of information about the upcoming earbuds.

Apple AirPods Pro 2: Stem or no stem?

Pictured above is the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. These earbuds are tiny, pack a lot of power, and, notably, lack a stem-based design. Could Apple also be going in that same direction and cutting the stem off the AirPods Pro 2? There are conflicting reports, and ultimately, we won't know for sure until Apple announces the AirPods Pro 2 — which may not be that far off. Apple is likely to hold its annual spring launch event in March or April of 2022 and may disclose more information during that time.

What do we know so far? Most rumors point to the earbuds' stem as either eliminated or at least made shorter. Mark Gurman claims Apple is looking to make the AirPods Pro 2 the most compact model yet, and to achieve that, is testing a more rounded shape. This is seemingly corroborated by Ming-Chi Kuo, quoted by MacRumors, who has mentioned a "new design" in his note to investors. It's hard to tell how far Apple will go in regards to the stem on its premium earbuds.

However, not every clue points to Apple going stemless. MacRumors received images of what appears to be the second generation of the AirPods Pro, featuring a charging case with speaker holes at the bottom and a metal loop at the side. More importantly, the AirPods themselves look much like the current generation, with a long stem to match. However, as MacRumors itself has stated, the source is not as credible as Gurman and Kuo.

Lossless audio and a few bells and whistles

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the next generation of the AirPods Pro may feature lossless audio (ALAC.) This would mark a first for Apple, as all of its current AirPods products do not offer support for lossless audio because they connect via Bluetooth. Apple explains Bluetooth connections aren't lossless, and therefore, the technology is not supported by any of the current AirPods.

We can also likely expect to see premium noise suppression through active noise canceling (ANC.) However, if you should wish to turn it off, What Hi-Fi reports Apple may be looking to make doing so easier than ever. The earbuds are said to recognize voices and words, disabling ANC on command to make hearing the surroundings easier when it's necessary. The buds are also said to support Apple's Find technology and will play a sound when lost.

Bluetooth 5 is fairly expected, and if the earbuds will lose their stems, the controls may be moved to the bud itself. However, as one patent spotted by Patently Apple suggests, we may have a real treat waiting for us: the AirPods Pro 2 may feature through-body response technology. This would allow users to control the buds by making in-air hand gestures or touching their face, all without having to touch the earbuds themselves. Whether this is actually going to happen now or perhaps in the future remains in the realm of speculation at this point.

Apple AirPods Pro 2: Everything else

Being an Apple product, and from the top shelf, too, the AirPods Pro 2 are unlikely to come cheap. The current iteration of the Pro earbuds was priced at $249 upon release, and with the current state of the market, it's hard to expect a cheaper price tag this time around. However, Apple is yet to release any information about the pricing of these new wireless earbuds.

Apple has also kept things pretty hush in regards to any possible release dates. Previous reports claimed the AirPods Pro 2 would launch as early as mid-2021, but obviously, that didn't happen. In a more recent update, Bloomberg anticipates the product will debut around the fourth quarter of 2022.

A release date around the end of the year is good for several reasons. New iPhones are expected to arrive around that time, plus the holiday season is just around the corner. Provided the new AirPods Pro 2 are released before the end of the year, we will likely see them climb to the top of many holiday shopping lists.