The AirPods Pro — the high-end version of Apple’s all-conquering AirPods — are well due an upgrade. It’s closing in on three years since the earbuds arrived, and in the last two years alone Samsung has managed to push out two sets of Galaxy Buds Pro.
The wait is nearly over, according to Bloomberg’s well-connected technology reporter Mark Gurman, who in the latest Power On (opens in new tab) newsletter claims that this week’s Apple event will see see the introduction of AirPods Pro 2, alongside the won’t just be for Apple to unveil the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch 8.
“I’m told that Wednesday will be their big unveiling,” Gurman writes.
The tech tipster explains that, for Apple, the big sales appeal of the iPhone isn’t just the upfront hardware, but extras that only really work flawlessly with it, such as the Apple Watch and AirPods. While you can use AirPods with Android devices, you lose so much functionality that you’re better off consulting our list of the best noise-cancelling earbuds for AirPods alternatives instead.
While we were expecting AirPods Pro 2 to arrive this fall, it wasn’t clear that Wednesday would be the ideal launch pad, given the event looks pretty packed with four iPhones and three Apple Watch models to rattle through.
All the same, it wouldn’t be unheard of for Apple to announce something that isn’t a phone or a watch. Not only did the original AirPods appear alongside the iPhone 7 in September 2016, but HomePod mini and Apple TV have also gatecrashed iPhone launches in recent years.
Gurman doesn’t actually offer any suggestions of what the new look AirPods Pro might look or sound like. But we’ve heard a few things over the last few months; improved sound is a given, of course, but there’s also talk of fitness tracking features, and a feature-packed new charging case.
Just yesterday a CAD render was spotted which seems to show this new-look case complete with a lanyard holder, a speaker grille and a microphone hole. While the former two are likely to make AirPods that bit less easy to lose, the latter is a bit of a mystery — unless it’s for the ‘Live Listen (opens in new tab)’ accessibility feature.
We should find out soon enough. Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event is scheduled for this Wednesday, at 10 a.m PT. Instructions on how to watch the Apple event are available here. But if you prefer to read all about it, we’ll be on hand with all the details and analysis you could wish for after the show wraps up.