The Airpods Pro 2 could get several major upgrades including new health-tracking features, improved Find My support and even hearing-aid capabilities, according to an extensive new leak on Apple's rumored next-gen earbuds.
In one of the most detailed reports we've yet seen about the headphones, 52audio has shared what it claims is fresh information on everything from the design to the specs to the charging case. However, the site has a patchy track record with past rumors, so take what follows with a pinch of salt.
That caveat aside, let's start with the design.
52audio has produced a series of renders based on the information it has supposedly received, and these suggest that the AirPods Pro 2 will retain their stem, contrary to earlier rumors.
In fact, based on these renders, the new earbuds will look much like the existing Airpods Pro — which tallies with other recent rumors about the AirPods Pro 2's design. That said, 52audio does mention that the 'buds will have "newly added ear tips for active noise cancellation," although it doesn't go into detail about exactly what that means.
Charging case changes
It's a different story with the AirPods Pro 2's charging case though, at least according to 52audio. For starters, the site claims the case will be powered up by USB-C, rather than a Lightning port — and that's apparent in the renders. This goes against the grain of other rumors, for instance analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently claimed USB-C would not arrive on the next generation AirPods Pro 2.
The case renders also show a hole on the bottom-left of the case which 52audio claims is a speaker. This would apparently work in tandem with Apple's Find My app to enable the case to play a sound, making it easier to locate when misplaced.
Even more interestingly, the site claims that "We also find that the openings on the right side are the microphone for the hearing aid."
According to 52audio, "Sound can be collected through the charging case and transmitted to the earphone for sound enhancement and playback, helping people with hearing loss get the environment sound."
This is not something we've previously heard rumored for the AirPods Pro 2, and it would be an exciting addition if true. Nor is it entirely impossible: at WWDC 2021, Apple added a Conversation Boost feature to existing AirPods. This is designed for users with “mild” hearing loss, and uses the earbuds’ integrated microphones to pick up and enhance speech. Adding similar functionality to the charging case could further improve this ability — but we should caution that it's not anything we've heard about elsewhere, so for now file this under 'uncertain.'
Outside of the minor design changes and (potentially) major charging case upgrades, most of the info in 52audio's leak concerns the internal specs.
For instance, the AirPods Pro 2 will apparently get an updated H1 chip which the site says will bring "better performance and improved power consumption based on higher integration and better manufacturing technology." No surprise if true.
The site also mentions that it will support “self-adaptive” noise cancellation but that audio quality will otherwise be in line with the AirPods 3. Self-adaptive equalization, spatial audio, audio sharing and more will apparently all be on board, but that's hardly a shock either.
There's no mention in this report, however, of the possible addition of lossless audio via an improved audio codec, something that has previously been strongly rumored for the new model.
Finally, 52audio states that the Airpods Pro 2 will get a couple of health upgrades, including heart-rate detection from within the ear and potentially temperature detection. The site adds that the latter feature "won’t be confirmed until the product is released."
However, just bear in mind that a new report has the AirPods Pro 2 now tipped to not get the temperature and heart-rate sensors, which could be a disappointment.
Nevertheless, there's still plenty here to pique our interest, then, but as we've said these are all unconfirmed rumors and in some cases go against what we've heard elsewhere. We won't know either way what the next AirPods Pro have in store for us until the new 'buds arrive, which the latest leak tips to be on September 13, alongside the iPhone 14.
Until then, we suggest that you keep our Airpods Pro 2 hub bookmarked for all the latest updates.