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AirPods Pro 2: What to expect from Apple’s upcoming ANC earbuds

The AirPods Pro 2 are the much anticipated follow up to Apple’s first-gen noise-cancelling wireless earbuds.

Given the success of the original, it’s no surprise that Apple would be looking to develop a sequel. It’s one of better true wireless on the market and if you’re an iOS user it’s a no brainer.

The AirPods represented a turnaround for the AirPod range, which had always suffered from a compromised design and disappointing audio performance. With the success of the AirPods Pro, Apple’s series of headphones are on the up. So what can we expect from the next iteration?

Well, there hasn’t been much news so far, with a purported release still thought to be a way off, but that hasn’t stopped some speculation from ramping up as Apple get set to release a number of products in 2020.

So, with that in mind, what can you expect from AirPods Pro 2?

Related: AirPods 3 – What we know about Apple’s next true wireless earbuds

How much will the AirPods Pro 2 cost?

We don’t expect the AirPods Pro 2 to be cheap. The first sold for £249 and, from what we can glean, they’ve sold exceptionally well with analysts expecting Apple to shift around 90 million units this year.

With sales like that, there’s no need to reduce the price. If Apple is considering some sort of AirPods Pro Lite,which is still up for debate, that’ll likely be cheaper. £249 sounds like its right on the money for the next AirPods Pro.

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When will the AirPods Pro 2 be released?

According to Taiwanese-based analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the second-gen AirPods Pro will go into production in the latter half of 2021, with a release date pegged for 2022.

There have been lingering rumbles of an AirPods Pro Lite, which is thought to be a cheaper version of the Pro earbuds. Kuo scoffed at this and the idea of a new AirPods model being released in 2020, believing they are more likely be a new Beats headphones.

Despite Kuo’s track record, we’re not entirely sure. Professional Apple botherer Jon Prosser has been tweeting saying that a new AirPods is on the way, and that they’re due for release soon.

Could it be the Lite model that Prosser is referring to, or are these actually a new pair of Beats headphones? Or perhaps they’re the AirPods 3?

Whatever they are, we can rule out the AirPods X, which are believed to be sports-friendly wireless earbuds expected to go on sale in the autumn time. According to Prosser, the intent of the AirPods X is phase out the Beats range. Interesting.

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AirPods Pro 2 design

The standard AirPods had a poor design, but thankfully the AirPods Pro were much improved. Comfort was better as was noise isolation which made them more suited for different activities. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the design for the AirPods Pro 2 will be the same, but the stuff on the inside is expected to get an update.

That’s not to say that improvements couldn’t be made. For one, the capacitive stem is too fiddly and not the most responsive. Changes here to make it more stable would be an improvement.

Apple’s curious reluctance to offer the earbuds in anything other than glossy white means they can easily attract dirt. More colour options would be nice, if only for some added personalisation.

Related: AirPods Studio − Everything we know about the rumoured over-ears

AirPods Pro 2 features

The first-generation AirPods Pro offered ANC, Transparency Mode, IPX4 resistance and Qi wireless charging. That’s a pretty solid feature set.

Again, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more improvements. At 4.5 hours, battery life was not the lengthiest. Sony, Sennheiser, 1MORE and even headphone upstarts Cleer Audio have surpassed this. Battery life of 7-8 hours per charge would at least give people peace of mind.

We’d also like to have the ability to manually adjust noise-cancellation. A number of the more expensive pairs offer this, and some even have smart NC sensors which adjusts based on the amount of noise they can detect. Apple says that ANC is constantly adjusted at 220-times per second, but that’s a rather difficult statement to test in the real world.

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