Hold off on buying the AirPods Pro 2, solid-state earbuds could be coming soon

The Creative Outlier Pro ANC wireless earbuds in their charging case
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The AirPods Pro 2 are currently some of the best wireless earbuds out there, but that could change once solid-state driver models hit the market. 

Just a few short months after a company called xMEMS Labs debuted its new solid-state driver technology, one of the bigger names in earbuds says it has plans to implement the technology in a new pair of earbuds. 

That company is Creative Technologies, most famous for its sound cards back in the ’90s, who have been diligently releasing new wireless earbuds at a steady clip for the last decade – and now, the company has turned its attention to this cutting-edge audio tech.

There aren’t any firm details around the new earbuds, but Creative’s CEO Song Siow Hu says that “[Creative is] confident that our TWS products will stand out in the market, delivering exceptional sound quality, comfort, and style to our users.”

Solid-state vs dynamic drivers: what's the difference?

Dynamic drivers which use a coil and magnet to create sound have been the de facto mechanism for headphones for the last century. It's a power hungry system and one that leads to some distortion at higher volumes. 

However, xMEMS Labs has been working on micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) solid-state drivers that are smaller, lighter, less power hungry and still really powerful. In short, it's the next big breakthrough for earbuds. 

“By integrating our advanced solid-state MEMS speakers into Creative’s TWS products, we are confident that users will enjoy an unprecedented level of audio quality and efficiency," says Joseph Jiang, CEO and Co-Founder at xMEMS Labs. "Together, we aim to redefine the way people listen to music, communicate, and immerse themselves in audio content.”

So how soon will we actually have a pair in our ears? Well, that part is still unclear. The two companies announced their partnership today and, from the sounds of things, a model is in the works. That said, there's no firm release date yet. 

Hopefully, we'll get a chance to see them at CES 2024 coming up in January, if not a bit sooner. Until then, AirPods Pro 2 will hold onto their spot as the best wireless earbuds – but change is 'a coming.

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Nick Pino
Managing Editor, TV and AV

Nick Pino heads up the TV and AV verticals at Tom's Guide and covers everything from OLED TVs to the latest wireless headphones. He was formerly the Senior Editor, TV and AV at TechRadar (Tom's Guide's sister site) and has previously written for GamesRadar, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade. Not sure which TV you should buy? Drop him an email or tweet him on Twitter and he can help you out.