Apple’s next-generation AirPods – AKA the Apple AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro – are poised for a release just in time for Xmas. But what can we expect from them?
Apple did update its AirPods in 2019, but this was a minor update that added in a couple of new features like wireless charging. But they were NOT the big update many were expecting. Apparently, Apple’s saving all the big changes for its AirPods 2, which are now said to be called the Apple AirPods Pro.
Word on the street – meaning leaks via Ben Geskin on Twitter – claims Apple will unveil the new AirPods Pro at Apple’s HQ before the end of October, meaning an October 31st unveiling could well be on the cards.
AirPods Pro will be shown next week on Tuesday / Wednesday at an event / session with journalists at Apple’s local offices pic.twitter.com/HFLqpHAGkg
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) October 27, 2019
Why are they called AirPods Pro? This is likely down to Apple’s iPhone 11 range. But adding in the Pro branding will also help to add a distinction between its current-generation AirPods and these newer, more expensive variants.
Apple AirPods 2 (AKA AirPods Pro) Rumored Features
- Improved Audio Quality
- Improved Battery Life
- New Color Options (Black)
- Biometric-Support (Double As Fitness Tracker)
Apple AirPods 2 (AirPods Pro) Release Date
As per Geskin’s news, it appears that Apple will unveil the AirPods Pro at an event inside Apple HQ that takes place before the end of October. If true, this would indicate that Apple is looking to get the AirPods Pro on market for Christmas. Q4 – or, the run-up to Xmas – is the busiest period for any company, from the perspective of sales, so it makes sense that Apple would want to capitalize on this with its AirPods Pro.
Getting the AirPods Pro release date locked in for Q4 will help Apple shift millions of units in quick succession. The new AirPods model will be more expensive than the current models; around $260. But given that the AirPods Pro will feature a new design, noise cancellation, and better overall sound and battery life, this is to be expected.
Again, no one knows for sure, so everything you hear and read right now about the AirPods 2/AirPods Pro’s release date is purely speculative. However, Apple normally gives a product a good 12 months on the market before issuing an update. And by that logic, we’re still a long way from being anywhere near the release window. Logically, it doesn’t make sense. But then again, AirPods aren’t phones, so perhaps Apple is a little more relaxed with update cycles in this context?
Another rumor suggests the new AirPods will land alongside Apple Arcade, a new gaming platform that is expected to land later this fall – September/November time.
Apple AirPods 2 / AirPods Pro Specs & Updates
Apple’s updated 2019 AirPods brought with them some much-needed changes; most notably wireless charging and Apple’s H1 chipset which was designed specifically for use inside the AirPods.
The net result of these updates made the AirPods (2019) an even better pair of true wireless earbuds. What was rather disappointing, though, was the sound quality remained the same as 2016’s original model. And it is here where we expect the AirPods 2 to up the ante…
An obvious area for improvement for the Apple AirPods 2 is sound quality. Rumors suggest the AirPods 2 will feature active noise-canceling as well as improved audio fidelity. Apple has even secured a bunch of patents for things like biometrics, enabling things like fitness tracking.
Apple also has patents, filed in July, for some pretty crazy technology that would enable not only active noise-cancellation but also reduce pressure from inside the ear canal. None of these things make it to the AirPods (2019), so you can expect to see them inside the AirPods 2 later on in 2020.
One of the patents described a new valve system that would let sound escape from your air canal. The reason? To stop the reverb feedback you sometimes get when making calls with earbuds. On top of this, the AirPods 2 will also use microphones to filter in noise from the outside world so that you can hear what’s going on around you, even when music is playing.
Another BIG feature expected to land inside Apple’s AirPods 2 is full water-proofing. The extent of the protection they’ll get isn’t currently known, but we’re assuming they’ll be suitable for light rain and slight submersion. This would be enough for most users, for jogging in heavy rain, though Apple could surprise us all and add in full IP6 water-proofing.
I’d also like to see Apple improve how AirPods work with Android. Plenty of Android users run AirPods, but the pairing process isn’t exactly user-friendly. Given the popularity of Android phones and AirPods, you’d think it’d make sense for Apple to open them up to a larger audience? While I don’t expect this to happen with the AirPods 2, it’d sure be a nice update if it did…
Last but not least, Apple is expected to release the AirPods 2 is two color options: white and black. Another thing we’d like to see if removable ear-bud tips, so you could give them a good ol’ clean every now and then.
Apple AirPods 2 / AirPods Pro Price
How much will the AirPods 2 cost? As always, when you’re talking about Apple, one should be prepared for a price increase with new technology. The current Apple AirPods retail for $159. But the new AirPods 2 could hit the market for $200, according to reports, if Apple does bring all of the above changes.
Personally speaking, I don’t think Apple will break the $200 barrier with the AirPods 2. The company has had A LOT of success with its AirPods, and part of the reason for that is because they’re priced (kind of) aggressively for the space in which they operate. Finger’s crossed Apple sticks to the $159 price bracket for the AirPods 2.
Apple AirPods Alternatives?
Interested in AirPods but don’t want to pay Apple money? There are TONS of cheaper, true wireless earbud options on the market right now. Our current #1 favorite true wireless earbuds are listed inside our Best Apple AirPods Alternative guide – it includes budget and premium alternatives.
Or, you can view the #1 options for our favorite cheap AirPods alternatives in the table below.
|Tribit X1 Wireless Earbuds|
|JUCKBO Wireless Earbuds |
|SoundPEATS True Wireless Earbuds|
Will Apple’s AirPods 2 Be Waterproof?
Another BIG feature expected to land inside Apple’s AirPods 2 is full water-proofing. The extent of the protection they’ll get isn’t currently known, but we’re assuming they’ll be suitable for light rain and slight submersion. This would be enough for most users, for jogging in heavy rain, though Apple could surprise is all and add in full IP6 water-proofing.