After months of rumors and speculation, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 weren’t anywhere to be found at WWDC 2022 — which was probably to be expected given the show's focus on developers and the tools they need to make apps for Apple's assorted software programs.
To that end, we saw plenty of announcements — a new MacBook Air 2022 with a fresh chipset, macOS Ventura and a suite of new features coming to iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. But AirPod users paying attention probably noticed something in the iOS 16 preview that should be a boon to all AirPods owners.
Personalized spatial audio coming to iOS 16
In lieu of new Apple audio hardware, a number of smaller announcements came out of WWDC that audiophiles will appreciate. Besides a high-impedance audio jack on the new MacBook Air — something Apple introduced in both the MacBook Pro and new Mac Studio — iOS 16 promises an improved version of spatial audio.
Apple says that listeners can use the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone to create a personal profile for spatial audio that delivers a listening experience tuned just for them — though it hasn’t given any more details.
Potentially, the TrueDepth camera will be needed to take a picture either of your ear shape — similar to what Sony proposed when it unveiled spatial audio on the PS5 — or how the earbuds fit inside your ear. We’re not totally sure at this point.
Regardless, Apple says that personalized spatial audio will result in a customized experience that’s more immersive than the blanket spatial audio we have now. That in itself could keep us tide over until the Apple AirPods Pro 2 are finally made public, though it's possible the rumored earbuds could arrive at the same time as iOS 16, which is slated for a fall release. (An iOS 16 public beta arrives next month, Apple says.)
So what about the AirPods Pro 2?
With no AirPods Pro 2 at WWDC, that likely means we won't seem them until the fall, when Apple typically holds an event to unveil new iPhones and other devices in advance of the holiday season. The iPhone 14 release date is expected to fall in September.
That said, there's no formal word from Apple on when the iPhone 14 will be launched, though you can bet that iOS 16 will arrive in its final form around the same time.