The AirPods Pro 2 would be one of the many announcements we’ll see at tomorrow’s Apple event. Three years after the release of the original AirPods Pro, Apple is preparing to follow them with a new generation. The changes aren’t dramatic, but I think the AirPods Pro 2 could easily stand out as one of tomorrow’s biggest announcements.
What to expect from the AirPods Pro 2
Again, the AirPods Pro 2 aren’t expected to be a drastic overhaul over the first-gen version. Initially, it was rumored that they might feature a new stemless design with a range of health and fitness tracking features. This design, however, has been described as something that would be difficult to achieve given the amount of technology inside each of the AirPods Pro buds.
As such, more recent reports suggest the AirPods Pro 2 will feature a similar or identical design to the first generation. This means we’ll have the same in-ear design with multiple sizes of ear tips and stems that provide quick access to playback controls.
With the design remaining the same, there are two areas of focus for the AirPods Pro 2. First, Apple has reportedly upgraded the charging case to offer a handful of useful new features. First, the case will likely include new speaker holes that will integrate with the Find My app.
On the side of the AirPods Pro 2 case, there would be new connectors for attaching straps to the case. There are currently a number of third-party accessories for AirPods Pro that offer a built-in strap, which is another way to reduce the risk of losing your AirPods case.
Beyond the charging case, the AirPods Pro would feature several component upgrades emphasizing higher quality audio playback. Ming-Chi Kuo said the AirPods Pro 2 will be Apple’s first AirPods products to feature lossless audio playback support.
According to Kuo, the AirPods Pro 2 will support Apple Lossless, or ALAC, format for audio playback. It comes after Apple added lossless playback support to Apple Music over a year ago. As it stands, none of the current AirPod models support the feature due to Bluetooth limitations.
In addition to Kuo’s reporting, 9to5Mac Sources have confirmed that the next generation of AirPods Pro – codenamed B698 – will feature the next version of the H1 chip, Apple’s own audio processor. There is also evidence of support for the new LC3 codec, which will improve audio calls, efficiency and stability of Bluetooth devices.
These improvements may not sound like major upgrades, but I believe they will all come together to provide a significant improvement to the AirPods Pro experience.
9to5Mac POV: AirPods Pro 2 could steal the show
The AirPods Pro are one of my most used Apple products. I love the design, the in-ear fit, the on-stem controls, the deep integration with the Apple ecosystem, and so much more. But the AirPods Pro as they exist today aren’t perfect. Even beyond a long-running call-back schedule due to various “sound issues,” there are some quirks that need to be fixed.
AirPods Pro are powered by Apple’s custom H1 chipset, which was first introduced in 2019. Since then, every version of AirPods has been powered by the same H1 chip, including the ultra-premium AirPods Max as well. than a number of Beats products.
The rumored H2 chip would mark the first new Apple audio chip since then, and I have high hopes given the three-year gap between launches.
In addition to improvements in audio quality, I’m also hoping for significant improvements in areas like stability, battery life, and connection speed. The H1 chip is already a major improvement over traditional Bluetooth. As such, I expect the combination of an improved H2 chip and the new LC3 Bluetooth codec to be a significant improvement.
Along with improvements to stability, performance, and audio quality, adding speakers to the AirPods Pro case will be another quality of life improvement. If you’ve ever misplaced your AirPods Pro case without your AirPods inside, I’m sure you know it can be nearly impossible to locate. Being able to ‘ping’ the case from the Find My app will make this process much easier.
There are other things on my AirPods Pro 2 wishlist that would be nice surprises. I would like to see some sort of health or fitness tracking feature. I’m very intrigued by what Apple could do in this space, especially when combined with Apple Watch data. Improving durability and longevity is also at the top of my list. AirPods Pro battery life currently decreases at a fairly rapid rate after the first year.
And like everyone else, I’d love to see the AirPods Pro switch to USB-C for charging, but that doesn’t seem to happen until next year.
Ultimately, while some might be disappointed that the AirPods Pro 2 don’t have a new design, I’m more than happy with what rumors say we’ll get this year. With how often I use AirPods Pro, significant quality of life improvements will be more than enough to get me to upgrade.
In fact, I would selfishly add that I would be concerned if Apple planned a major AirPods Pro design, simply because the current form factor works so well for me.
What do you think of the AirPods Pro 2? Are you planning an upgrade this year? Let us know in the comments.
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