Apple AirPods Pro 2 rumors: 2022 release date, new design and everything else we’ve heard

AirPods Pro 2 rumors: Release date, new design and everything else we’ve heard

The AirPods Pro (pictured) may receive an upgrade in 2022.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple has not updated the AirPods Pro since they were launched in 2019. Other than adding one MagSafe-compatible case in 2021, the wireless earphones have largely remained the same, while retaining a price of $ 249, £ 239, AU $ 399 when not for sale. According to several rumors, that is about to change. A new version of AirPods Pro with a refreshed design and other upgrades could debut next year if reports prove to be true.

The current AirPods Pro brought several premium features like active noise reduction and a customizable fit for Apple wireless earphones. Based on the reports we have seen so far, the second generation model will add further improvements such as a slimmer styleless design and fitness features. Such changes could be important for Apple to stay competitive with rivals like Samsung, Bose, Sony and others.

AirPods were originally marketed as a companion to iPhone 7, Apple’s first smartphone without headphone jack. But in the five years since its launch, AirPods have become the most popular wireless earphones in the world. Apple’s current AirPods lineup along with the aforementioned AirPods Pro includes $ 129 AirPods (second generation), $ 179 AirPods (3rd generation) and $ 549 over-ear AirPods Max.

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect from the possible AirPods Pro 2.

Read more: Yes, AirPods 2 are still worth buying, though AirPods 3 are pretty good

AirPods Pro 2 is likely to launch in 2022, possibly in the 4th quarter

Reports from Bloomberg and trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both say the AirPods Pro will debut in 2022. But it’s unclear exactly when we can expect to see them.

Kuo predicts that AirPods Pro 2 will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a research note obtained by MacRumors. This suggests that they could be a part of Apple Product Flash which typically takes place at the end of the year. For example, Apple announced iPhone 13
lineup, the Apple Watch Series 7, AirPods 3 and a new line of MacBook Pro laptops in September and October. Bloomberg, on the other hand, did not specify a time frame by 2022 for the release of the AirPods Pro 2.

AirPods Pro 2 can lose its stems

Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the white shiny stems that AirPods have had since their launch in 2016. Apple’s next AirPods Pro could come with a more discreet, stem-free look that looks like Beats Studio Buds, according to Bloomberg. The report says Apple is testing this type of design, so it’s unclear if that would reflect the final product.

If true, it would mark the first time that Apple has significantly discontinued its genuine wireless earphones since the first AirPods Pro launched in 2019. It would also make the AirPods Pro look like other competing earphones from Samsung, Amazon and Bose among others.


Beats Studio Buds have a stem-free design unlike Apple’s AirPods.

David Carnoy / CNET

It also raises the question of how Apple will implement touch controls on the next AirPods Pro model. The stems of the current version house Apple power sensor, which lets you control media playback and access Siri. Without the stems, Apple would probably have to place these touch buttons on the earphones themselves, similar to Beats Studio Buds.

AirPods Pro 2 may also get a new case, according to Japanese blog Macotakara. It makes sense considering that the case had to be a little different to match the buds’ new design. The report shows the dimensions of this new case as being the same as the AirPods 3s, which is water-repellent (unlike Apple’s other AirPods covers).

Read more: AirPods Pro 2 may get a redesign that leaves the iconic stems, and that’s really a shame

They may have fitness tracking features

AirPods can do many things, however activity tracking is not one of them. Apple can change that fast enough with the AirPods Pro 2, which will include updated motion tracking sensors designed for fitness tracking, according to Bloomberg.

The report does not go into further details, but an Apple patent application from 2017 suggests that it could be exploring ways to measure biometric signals through earphones.

Apple will join companies like Jabra and Amazon, both of which already offer fitness-oriented features in their respective wireless earphones. Jabras elitesport earphones can track repetition rates during exercise and heart rate while Echo Buds can track training.

What else do we expect from AirPods Pro 2


The AirPods Pro (pictured) was launched in 2019, and Apple has not released a new model since.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Although Apple has not said anything about its future plans for AirPods, there is a lot we can deduce based on AirPods 3. For example, $ 179 AirPods offer a slightly better battery life than both the more expensive AirPods Pro and second generation AirPods. It seems plausible that Apple would improve the battery life of the AirPods Pro 2 to at least match, if not exceed, that of the AirPods 3.

Nor would it be surprising to see the next AirPods Pro win AirPods 3rd skin detection sensor that can more accurately detect when an AirPod comes in contact with the wearer’s ear versus another surface.

Read more: Our iPhone SE wish list: We want to see these upgrades in 2022

Another lingering question is how much the AirPods Pro 2 will cost. Apple sells the current AirPods Pro for $ 249, though you can usually find them for less elsewhere. We know nothing for sure about Apple’s future plans.

But if Apple stops the original AirPods Pro when it announces the new ones – a great option – it can keep the price at $ 249 for the new model. Apple did not change the standard price of AirPods when it launched the second generation of AirPods in 2019. And while AirPods Pro may be a bit pricey compared to some of Apple’s competitors, their popularity has shown that people are willing to pay a higher price.

If the rumors are accurate, it sounds like the new design and fitness tracking features will be the biggest upgrades we can expect. These changes may not be enough to affect anyone who has recently purchased the AirPods Pro. But they can be significant enough to force those who bought the originals back in 2019 to upgrade. But we’ll have to wait until Apple comes up with a message to know for sure.

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