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(Pocket-lint) - Apple's AirPods Pro came out at the end of October 2019, offering a different design to the original AirPods, along with sweat and water resistance, customised fit, active noise cancellation and advanced on-device controls. 

What might their successor bring to the party though? Here is everything we have heard so far about the second generation of Apple AirPods Pro, which we are calling AirPods Pro 2. If you want to know about the third generation of standard AirPods, you can read our separate feature.

Release date and price

  • 2022?
  • $249

A report from Bloomberg originally suggested the Apple AirPods Pro 2 could be released in 2021, with other sources suggesting it will be the latter half of 2021, possibly even early 2022. There have also been suggestions of late 2022 though, so the release date is currently a little up in the air. Some speculation even suggests to expect AirPods Pro 2 in 2021, and a second update in 2022.

Apple has an event planned for 18 October, where it is expected to release new MacBook Pros. It's of course possible the AirPod Pro 2 headphones may appear at this event, though nothing is known as yet.

In terms of price, it's been claimed the AirPods Pro 2 will cost $249 in the US, which is the same as the current AirPods Pro cost. 

Design

  • Rounder 
  • No stem
  • Two sizes

The AirPods Pro feature a smaller and more compact design to the original AirPods, along with custom fit earbuds, though the second gen model is said to be more compact still. 

It's claimed the design could go down the Samsung Galaxy Bud route, eliminating the stem entirely and offer a more rounded shape that fills more of the user's ear. It's also been claimed they could come in two size options.

Other reports have suggested the design will be slightly different to the current AirPods Pro but not significantly.

Features

  • Noise cancellation
  • Adaptive EQ
  • Sweat and water resistance
  • Health monitoring

Similar features to the current AirPods Pro are expected in the next generation model, including noise cancellation, adaptive EQ and water and sweat resistance.  

There is some talk that the AirPods Pro 2 could come with health monitoring features, such as the ability to monitor heart rate, detect head movement and count steps. Though there is also talk that these features may be found on the third generation of AirPods Pro, rather than the second we are talking about in this feature.

It's also been said the noise cancellation will improve slightly and ambient light sensors will be on board.

Hardware

  • New wireless chip
  • Battery improvements

It's said the second generation of AirPods Pro will come with a new wireless chip - said to be called the W2 - which is also said to be found within the rumoured AirPods 3

Along with a new wireless chip - which although unconfirmed seems fairly likely - battery improvements have also been reported. There has also been a suggestion that the charging case will be slightly redesigned, with the same 21mm thickness but with a height of 46mm and width of 54mm.

Apple AirPod Pro 2 rumours: What's happened so far?

This is everything we have heard so far regarding the Apple AirPods Pro 2.

8 October 2021: Apple AirPods Pro 2 may not arrive until late 2022, but are expected to feature improved noise cancelling

Industry leaker AppleLeaksPro claimed the AirPods Pro 2 won't appear until Q3 of 2022. Previously he had claimed Q4 of 2021 or Q1 of 2022.

28 May 2021: Apple's 2022 AirPods Pro might feature fitness-tracking motion sensors

Bloomberg reiterated that AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 will land this year, but apparently, they'll be updated again next year, with the Pro model gaining motion sensors with fitness tracking features. Apple has also considered eliminating the stems from the AirPods Pro apparently.

27 January 2021: Apple AirPods Pro 2 could be coming soon, another report suggests

A report from Digitimes claims the AirPods Pro 2 are set to launch in the first half of 2021 after a flash storage supplier was said to be ramping up production.

10 January 2021: Apple AirPods Pro 2 to launch in April 2021

A report from Macotakara claims the AirPods Pro 2 could arrive in April 2021, alongside the iPhone SE. The charging case is said to have a new design that will remain 21mm thick, but will be 46mm high and 54mm wide.

Best USB-C headphones for Android phones 2021

26 October 2020: Apple Plans Smaller AirPods Pro

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple was working on a smaller version of the AirPods Pro headphones without a stem and they were due to arrive sometime in 2021.

19 October 2020: AirPods Pro 2 specs, release date and price leak on Twitter

Twitter users LeaksApplePro claimed to know a few details coming to the second generation AirPods Pro. 

22 July 2020: Analyst predicts Q4 for AirPods Pro 2

MacRumors reported that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted the AirPods Pro 2 will go into mass production in Q4 of 2021 to Q1 of 2022. The report also discussed health monitoring features.

22 July 2020: AirPods assemblers gearing up for production in Vietnam

According to Digitimes, Apple is planning to reveal the second generation of AirPods Pro in the second half of 2021.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 3 November 2020.