(Pocket-lint) - The upcoming new AirPods will feature onboard speech recognition so you can use Siri without needing to physically touch the AirPods or your iPhone. 

It seems certain we're going to get new AirPods soon and this latest titbit comes courtesy of a keen-eyed spot in the latest iOS 12.2 developer beta. There's now a new setup screen in the upcoming OS that enables you to set up Siri to recognise your voice on your AirPods or iPhone - previously you'd have just set up Siri on your phone. 

Rumours have been growing around AirPods 2, and it's been suggested in the past that they would include at least some support for using Siri without having to tap on the earpiece.

Indeed, the introductory video for Apple's own 2018 iPhone keynote featured the protagonist using Siri hands-free with the AirPods. 

Now, it seems the AirPods 2 themselves will perform the speech recognition, making them a much more powerful prospect than previously. Other rumours point towards the new AirPods - or at least a fitness version of them - having some level of water resistance as well as fitness training or health monitoring features.

It could well be that the original AirPods will stay on the market at a reduced price, but that these new features will come to a premium version of the wireless earphones. 

Rumours also continue to swirl that the release will coincide with the AirPower charging mat so the AirPods 2 case can be wirelessly charged. 

We're expecting the new AirPods to be with us sometime in the Spring, probably alongside iOS 12.2. 

Writing by Dan Grabham.