Don't Buy AirPods Pro Right Now: AirPods Pro 2 Imminent
The AirPods Pro launched over 1,000 days ago and are the oldest current-generation Apple device still on sale. With a new model believed to be on the brink of announcement by Apple, customers should now hold off on purchasing AirPods Pro until the new model arrives.
Apple announced the AirPods Pro on Monday, October 28, 2019. The earbuds went on sale immediately and orders started arriving to customers on Thursday, October 31. Apple went on to release the AirPods Max in December 2020 and the third-generation AirPods in October 2021. After the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this year, the AirPods Pro became the oldest current-generation Apple device still on sale.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, and Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes have repeatedly said that the AirPods Pro 2 will launch in the second half of 2022, so the new model is now likely just a matter of weeks away. According to reports from a range of sources, the AirPods Pro 2 are expected to feature:
- The same design as the current model.
- Skin-detect sensors instead of IR sensors.
- "Significantly upgraded" wireless chip.
- Support for Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) playback.
- Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity with LE Audio support
- Updated motion sensors with a focus on fitness tracking.
- A sound-emitting charging case for location-tracking purposes.
It has also been suggested that the AirPods Pro 2 will feature an updated chip, self-adaptive noise cancellation capabilities, heart rate and temperature sensors, hearing aid capabilities, and a USB-C port, but Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman have cast doubt over this information.
It seems likely that the second-generation AirPods Pro's sound-emitting charging case will integrate into the Find My app, similar to how users can currently emit a sound from their individual AirPods inside the case to help find them. This lines up with alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro, which showed a charging case with speaker holes to emit a sound for location tracking, allowing the earbuds and the case to be located separately.
Support for Lossless audio is among the biggest upgrades expected for the AirPods Pro 2 and could have ramifications for the entire AirPods lineup in the future. All of Apple's current AirPods products, including the third-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max, do not support Lossless audio.
This is because AirPods play audio via Bluetooth, limiting them to the AAC codec. Higher quality Apple Lossless Audio Codec files may need to be streamed to AirPods directly to circumvent Bluetooth and enable a Lossless listening experience, but it is possible that Apple could develop an alternative solution to bypass the current limits of Bluetooth.
Kuo has narrowed down the launch of the AirPods Pro 2 to the fourth quarter of 2022, which runs from October through December of the year. This means the AirPods Pro 2 could arrive around three years after their predecessors. Given their age and seemingly imminent replacement, customers should now hold off on buying AirPods Pro until the new model launches.