AirPods Pro 2: everything we know about Apple’s next wireless earphones

The Air Pods Pro 2 are one of the products that fans are expecting to see this year, and there could be big changes afoot. It’s been just over five years since the original AirPods made their debut. Despite initially coming in for some derision due to their rather large stems, they became hugely popular and today you see them everywhere you go.

Those stems are still a point of controversy though and they’re the subject of the most radical changes that are rumoured for the AirPods Pro 2. They were made shorter in 2019’s AirPods Pro and in last year’s third iteration of the standard AirPods. But with the AirPods Pro 2 expected this year, there are rumours that they will be dropped altogether in favour of a rounded, in-ear design. There are lots of rumours about what will be inside too, so read on for everything we’ve heard so far (if you can’t wait and need a good price on the current AirPods Pro, see our AirPods Pro deals page.)

Apple AirPods Pro review

Is the AirPods Pro iconic stem on the way out?  (Image credit: Future)

AirPods Pro 2: Design

The rumour about the earphones going stemless comes from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He’s claimed the AirPods Pro swill feature “an entirely new design that dispenses with the short stem that comes out of the bottom for a design similar to the Beats Fit Pro.” That backs up similar claims made by seasoned Apple leaker Mark Gurman way back in 2020. While we don’t know for sure if this will be the case Gurman does have form for accurate revelations. He also claimed that the standard AirPods would get a redesign to make them more similar to the existing AirPods Pro, and that’s exactly what happened in October 2021 with the release of the AirPods 3 (see the best cheap AirPods 3 prices here).

AirPods Pro 2: Features

So we could be in for a radical change in design, but what about the internals? More recent rumours have suggested Apple is working on a brand new audio transmission technology, which could end up replacing Bluetooth. That could allow the AirPods to become the first headphones to offer truly lossless sound quality. If that’s the case, the AirPods Pro 2 could well become the best-sounding wireless earbuds around.

Apple is also said to be working on an impressive (and slightly terrifying) new security feature through which the AirPods would be able to identify the user by the shape of their ear or the gait of their walk. It all sounds a little dystopian to me, but hey – more security could well be a good thing. There some truly weird rumours too, including a suggestion that Apple will add the ability to control your AirPods with your teeth (yes, you read that right).

AirPods 2: Release date

Kuo suggests the new AirPods Pro will arrive “in the last quarter of 2022”. Rumours have suggested a 2022 launch for a while, this is the first time we’ve been given a timeframe. The claim makes sense considering previous release dates and peak trading periods. It could mean we’re looking at October, which is when the basic Air Pods 3 were released last year.

Google Pixel buds

Google’s Pixel buds don’t feature a stem (Image credit: Google)

Time will tell what Apple has in store for the next generation of AirPods Pro. But if you don’t fancy waiting, check out today’s best deals below, and be sure to visit our round-up of the best wireless headphones. And if it’s the future of Apple you’re interested in, take a look at everything we’ve heard about the iPhone 14.

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