AirPods Pro 2 leak in full: heartbeat sensor, new case and USB-C

The leak: Loads of new details about Apple’s upcoming AirPods Pro 2 headphones have been shared online, according to 52audio (83.3% accurate, source).

Here is everything that’s coming later this year…

  • While we see a similar design for the AirPods Pro buds, there are major changes to the case…including a microphone (and speaker for Find My)
  • There’s also new integration for hearing aids with the case, but the details on how exactly this feature works are fuzzy
  • USB-C will finally replace the Lighting port, too
  • There’s a new heart rate sensor inside AirPods Pro 2 that can, well, measure your heart rate…but the report also suggests that this same sensor could also be cable of measuring your body temperature
  • Sound quality is said to be the same as AirPods 3, but of course with the addition of active noise cancellation (ANC)

Sam’s take: Wow. These are going to be an absolutely killer upgrade. I see why it has been 3 years since AirPods Pro were last updated. I’m fascinated to know how the heart rate/temperature sensor is going to work on these…

AirPods Pro 2 reportedly won’t get USB-C port this year

The rumor: Apple’s upcoming AirPods Pro 2 headphones won’t be getting a new port, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

Sam’s take: Small but disappointing tidbit from Kuo. We heard recently that Apple would be switching away from Lightning to USB-C on all of their accessories…but it doesn’t seem like that is happening for at least another year. I’d bet we’ll see things changing after the iPhone 15 gets USB-C next year.

The wait is almost over: AirPods Pro 2 are coming this Fall

The report: Apple is planning a successor to AirPods Pro for later this year according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

Ian’s Take: Finally! We have been hearing about these updated AirPods Pro for years, with sources constantly disagreeing on release. I am confident that these will release this fall: 3 years is a long time between releases (original AirPods Pro users are already struggling with battery health). This is going to be an exciting fall!

AirPods Pro 2 again rumored to release later this year

The rumor: Apple’s highest-end earbuds are getting an update in 2022, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (72.5% accurate).

  • AirPods Pro 2 are said to be releasing in the second half of this year, between July and December, according to the latest tweet from Kuo (see below)
  • The current version of AirPods Pro is likely to be discontinued at this time, in order to spur sales of the second-generation model…and avoid the lackluster sales Apple is reportedly seeing for AirPods 3, as AirPods 2 are still being sold

Sam’s take: Even though AirPods 2 are a different shape than AirPods 3, I found it incredibly odd that Apple kept them on sale following the announcement of AirPods 3 last year. I feel like the vast majority of folks will go for the cheaper option when presented with both in an Apple Store unless they are grabbing the Pros. Which, by the way, already leaked a few months back…in the same bud design as now but with a revamped case that has speakers.

Apple preps AirPods Pro 2 with new design, case and lossless audio

The rumor: Apple is planning a massive overhaul for second-generation AirPods Pro, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (75.9% accurate).

Per the new investor note…

  • AirPods Pro 2 will have a new design, alongside an “audible charging case” so you’ll be able to find your headphones easier
  • Apple lossless audio (ALAC) will be supported as a first for wireless AirPods
  • Look for a launch sometime in the fourth quarter of 2022

Our take: As seen above, MacRumors has already shared images of what the new case is going to look like, although the pods are visually similar to current AirPods Pro. This latest rumor also lines up with what an Apple VP said about the future of AirPods…

Apple releases new special edition AirPods Pro

The news: There’s a new pair of AirPods Pro out now to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

  • The new AirPods Pro, which are only available in China, feature a unique Year of the Tiger engraving on the case and emblem on the packaging
  • And as spotted by website ifanr (via MacRumors), “It is worth mentioning that if you buy a special AirPods Pro Year of the Tiger…users will also get a set of ‘Lunar New Year of the Lunar New Year’ from Apple. This set of red envelopes is printed with the official design of Apple’s twelve zodiac animals, and the shallow Apple Year of the Tiger mark and the words 2022 on the back.”
  • Last year, Apple also released a special edition of AirPods Pro to celebrate the Year of the Ox in China

Our take: These are cool…but I’m surprised that Apple again opted to do a special edition of AirPods Pro…and not the newly announced AirPods 3. But the red envelopes that Apple is giving out this year are new, tapping into a new year tradition in China that goes back centuries.

ifanr

AirPods Pro 2 releasing in late 2022 (report)

The rumor: Apple’s highly-anticipated follow-up to the original AirPods Pro are coming a year from now, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (75.9% accurate).

  • The new note, obtained by AppleTrack, suggests “a significant upgrade to the main chip” is “likely…” but no other details are shared
  • The second-generation AirPods Pro are rumored to feature a new design that is potentially stemless and are expected to drop in the fourth quarter of 2022

Our take: This timeline feels right to me, and the pods are definitely due for a chip upgrade of some kinds inside (considering the latest AirPods 3 have the same chips as the 2019 AirPods 2/Pro). I’m still intrigued by the idea of a stemless design, though. Will it look like the concept image above or totally abandon the AirPods Pro design we have now?

New images claim to show AirPods Pro 2 for the first time

The leak: AirPods Pro 2 will have the same design but include a redesigned charging case with speakers, according to MacRumors (78% accurate, source).

  • The AirPods Pro 2 buds look almost identical to the original AirPods Pros although the optical sensor has been removed (likely for a skin-detection based solution like on AirPods 3)
  • An updated case shows speaker holes, a metal loop for a strap and improved Find My integration

Our take: I don’t think these are real: they contradict most of the rumors we’ve heard from credible sources for AirPods Pro 2 thus far, and even MacRumors sound skeptical in their own article. I’m just not convinced right now.

Gurman: AirPods Pro 2 not releasing until 2022

The rumor: Apple doesn’t plan to update AirPods Pro this year, according to Mark Gurman (88.8% accurate, via Power On).

Our take: A reiteration of a prior report, but part of me thought there was a small chance we still saw an AirPods Pro update this year. Seems like it’s still a pretty good time to buy…

AirPods Pro 2 may include new motion sensors, delayed until 2022

The rumor: Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro won’t be seeing their release this year after all, according to Mark Gurman (88.7% accurate, via Bloomberg).

  • New Pro AirPods “will include updated motion sensors with a focus on fitness tracking” Gurman says
  • There may also be a radical smaller, stemless design that debuts on these new AirPods
  • AirPods Pro 2 are currently expected to debut sometime in 2022

Our take: Considering that these aren’t coming this year, I would bet we’ll see the new stemless design here. To hold us over until 2022, we’re getting AirPods 3.

AirPods 2/Pro 3E751 update released

The news: Apple just released a new firmware for AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, as first spotted by MacRumors.

  • No release notes have been provided for 3E751, and no new changes have been discovered just yet
  • Apple’s last update for AirPods Max corrected issues with phantom battery drain

Our take: As always, we’ll have to wait and see what’s new in the latest 3E751 update for AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro (Apple never provides a changelog). If I had to guess, it could be some optimization shipping alongside iOS 14.5?