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AirPods Pro 2: everything we know about Apple's new earphones

Woman wearing AirPods Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

AirPods Pro 2 have been hotly anticipated for a while now, and there could be big changes afoot for Apple's high-end earbuds. Despite early criticism, the design of AirPods has become ubiquitous in the streets – but it could soon look very different.

There are tons of rumours about what will be going on both inside and outside the earbuds, so read on for everything we've heard so far (if you can't wait and need a good price on the current model, 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

We've heard lots of rumours that the iconic 'stem' could soon disappear from the AirPods Pro. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the AirPods Pro will 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 when it comes to 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. And Apple might have another, more surprising reason to release the AirPods Pro 2 sooner rather than later – for early adopters of the 2019 model, battery life could be pretty poor these days.

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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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).