These are the major improvements we hope to see on the AirPods Pro 2, ranging from lossless audio support to fitness tracking.
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 could be one of the highlights of the Apple September Event, which has now been confirmed for September 7. Of course, the iPhone 14 series will get all of the attention, but there’s growing excitement in the audio world about the possibility of a next-generation AirPods Pro.
That’s understandable, given that the five-star rated AirPods Pro remains among the best wireless earbuds — and, based on rumors, the new model should be even better.
So, what do the numerous leaks indicate the redesigned flagship earbuds will offer? We dug through the rumors to bring you our list of the five most significant AirPods Pro 2 upgrades to expect.
1. Lossless audio support and EQ customization
While some people will be most excited about potential changes to the design of the AirPods Pro 2, that’s not how I roll.
As a fan of high-quality audio, I’d like to see the most exciting feature on the AirPods Pro 2 spec sheet: support for Apple’s proprietary ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) format. This would enhance the user experience of Apple Music, which gained lossless and high-resolution support in 2021.
For some time, Apple has been rumored to be working on high-resolution support for the AirPods Pro 2, but this is complicated because Bluetooth — all AirPods — cannot support the bandwidth required for full lossless streams. However, a patent discovered by Patently Apple may allow the AirPods to overcome this limitation by using optical audio transmission technology instead.
Whatever happens there, the AirPods Pro 2 is expected to include Bluetooth LE Audio support. This would bring many improvements, including increased battery life and audio quality and the ability to connect more than two pairs of AirPods to a single iPhone.
2. Improved active noise cancelling
Any advancement in ANC on the new model would be appreciated. The earbuds had good levels of active noise cancellation, according to our AirPods Pro review, but they can’t compete with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Sony WF-1000XM4, or Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
Apple claims that the AirPods Pro’s noise cancellation adjusts at 220 times per second, which is almost certainly a power-hungry activity that reduces battery life. The AirPods Pro 2 would only benefit from adjustable ANC, allowing users to manually adjust the ANC levels and save battery life when maximum ANC isn’t needed.
The best noise canceling earbuds also have a transparency mode or adjustable noise filtering that detects when to turn off noise cancellation and allows the wearer to hear direct conversations. It could even alert them to nearby hazards, for example, by intelligently reducing audio levels based on contextual information to keep wearers safe wherever they are. This was first mentioned in an Apple patent from 2020, and the AirPods Pro 2 could be the first to use a new chip with more sophisticated smart processing to enable this functionality. Read Also; OnePlus Buds Pro review: Good Buds
An intriguing new feature in a January 2022 patent application could be included. It’s called “Interrupt for Noise-Cancelling Audio Devices,” and it’s supposed to let users specify a “pre-designated contact” that the device will recognize as a “interrupt authorized contact.” Simply put, it would allow users to hear certain people but not others, and you would be able to select who cut.
This could be very useful, for example, when your other half tries to tell you that dinner is ready from the other side of the house. The patent also suggests that multiple voices may be approved as interrupters and that it may respond to pre-determined keywords. This would be fantastic.
3. Health and Fitness tracking
Apple’s impressive health and fitness tracking feature in iOS and the Apple Watch 7 may be the hottest new feature suite to be integrated into the AirPods Pro 2 and the highly anticipated Apple Watch 8.
We envision infrared sensors, accelerometers, or gyroscopes assisting with the built-in fitness tracking. It would undoubtedly add compelling features to the next-generation model, further justifying the ‘Pro’ moniker.
An improvement in this area would be especially beneficial to users who use earbuds at the gym or while running. It may also provide an easy way to keep track of your health and fitness data without wearing an Apple Watch. Read More; Google Pixel Buds Pro: Everything You Need to Know
Another useful upgrade would be an increase in the water resistance rating. The AirPods Pro is IPX4 certified for sweat and water resistance, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is IPX7 certified for waterproofing, providing greater protection against sweat and other water hazards.
4. Improved Battery Life
There aren’t many rechargeable devices that don’t claim improved battery life with each new model iteration, though some recent introductions haven’t always delivered on our expectations. The current AirPods Pro has a playback time of about 4.5 hours, but the AirPods 3 has a playback time of 6 hours on a single charge — albeit without ANC.
Apple has a knack for developing ever-more-sophisticated chipsets that become more energy efficient with each new generation. Combining a new chipset in the AirPods Pro 2 and support for the new Bluetooth LE Audio specification should result in more efficient power handling and longer battery life.
Although we hope that Apple will aim to increase playback time for the AirPods Pro 2, with many of the best wireless chargers now making it easy to keep devices charged, we believe that playback times are becoming less of an issue.
5. Design and Accessories
The current AirPods Pro design is flawless with its short stems and neat bud shape. But that doesn’t mean the AirPods Pro 2 won’t include some styling tweaks and refinements if only to differentiate the earbuds from their predecessors.
We’d like to see the rumors of a more rounded bullet-like design come true because removing the stems would make the design less noticeable and divisive. Even if the stems aren’t shortened, there’s still room to improve the design of the AirPods Pro 2 and the storage/charging case.
Finally, while no one on the Tom’s Guide team has had trouble getting an effective acoustic seal in the ear canal for optimal sound performance, the current model only comes with three tip sizes. This could limit just how well they fit and perform for some wearers. Some extra ear tips appear to be a minor addition that could help broaden appeal. Read More; Apple AirPods Pro 2: What We Know So Far
As rumored in late 2020, the possibility of two sizes would be even more significant, allowing users to find the perfect AirPod Pro 2 fit for them.