AirPods Pro 2 release date rumours
Though Apple is yet to officially announce the next-gen AirPods Pro 2, there are plenty of rumours that give us a good idea at when to expect them – and the good news is that there may not be long to wait.
A January 2021 DigiTimes report claims that the second-gen AirPods Pro are “slated for launch later in the first half of this year”, echoing an earlier report from Bloomberg suggesting both the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 could be released at some point in 2021.
Japanese blog Mac Otakara gets more specific, claiming that they’ll make an appearance alongside the third-gen iPhone SE at an event in April 2021.
This all flies in the face of predictions from the ever-accurate Ming-chi Kuo from April 2020, suggesting that the AirPods Pro 2 won’t go into mass production until Q4 2021 with release set for Q1 2022. It is entirely possible that Apple has changed plans since early 2020 and accelerated development, possibly in a bid to release both the AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods 3 at the same time, but it’s difficult to say right now.
AirPods Pro 2 pricing rumours
The good news – if you can call it good considering the premium price of the buds – is that Apple is looking to keep the AirPods Pro 2 at the same £249/$249 price tag as the original Pro buds. It makes sense considering just how popular the AirPods Pro are, even close to 18 months after release, still managing to attract an audience at the high-end price tag.
We’ve got a roundup of the best true wireless earbuds if you’re on the market for something a little cheaper and, y’know, available to buy right now.
AirPods Pro 2 design
Most rumours up until this point have been focused on the AirPods 3, which are said to sport the same design as the first-gen AirPods Pro – complete with swappable silicone eartips – but a late 2020 Bloomberg report sheds some light on possible design changes from the upcoming Pro buds.
According to the publication, Apple is looking to make the AirPods Pro 2 even more compact, possibly by removing the stem that houses the beamforming mics and other smart technology. If Apple goes ahead with the redesign, the AirPods Pro 2 could look similar in shape to the stemless Samsung Galaxy Buds or second-gen Google Pixel Buds.
The problem, it seems, is fitting all the required tech into an even smaller design, with Apple reportedly struggling to integrate the various antennae, microphones and tech into a stemless AirPod chassis. That could have implications on the overall design plans depending on how development pans out in the coming months.
It’s also said that the AirPods Pro 2 charging case could be slightly thinner and taller, measuring in at 46mm tall and 54mm wide respectively compared to the 45.2mm x 60.6mm dimensions of the current case, but that likely won’t be noticeable unless you put both cases side-by-side.
AirPods Pro 2 features
There aren’t many details about the new tech and features the AirPods Pro 2 could offer, but you should expect the same headline features – including ANC, transparency mode and Dolby Atmos support – as the first-gen buds.
There are whispers about the standard AirPods 3 offering advanced features like ambient light sensors that could enable health tracking capabilities, and it’s highly likely that if it’s available on the standard model, it’ll also be available on the Pro model, but it’s far from confirmed right now.
Twitter leaker @LeaksApplePro suggests that there won’t be a huge upgrade on offer from the second-gen buds, claiming that there will only be slight improvements to battery life and noise cancellation and comparing it to the minimal update between the first- and second-gen AirPods.