Apple AirPods Pro 2 May Have Dazzling Features, But There’s A Catch

July 7 update below. This post was first published on July 4, 2022.

Apple’s next high-end earbuds are expected later this year, but a new report from Apple commentator Mark Gurman suggests that some predicted features may be missing, such as the game-changing health monitoring which has been highly anticipated.


July 7 update. It looks like audio improvements promised for iOS 16 are beginning to arrive for existing members of the AirPods range, too, though this is just for developers. It will be available to all users later. When AirPods Pro 2 are released, they will surely have these upgrades as well, so we can add them to the list of upcoming features below. It’s worth noting that the firmware will be available to all AirPods except the very first ones, that is, AirPods second-generation, AirPods third-generation, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Here are the details…

An update has just been released of beta software for AirPods, which developers can access. This update arrived just after the third developers’ beta of iOS 16 and is an update to the beta firmware that devs got just after WWDC in June.

This software provides an improvement to the Automatic Switching feature which seamlessly lets you swap from listening on your iPhone to your iPad or Mac, for instance. Bugs and stability fixes are also mentioned for this new firmware.

All of which is building to the introduction of something called Personalized Spatial Audio which uses the iPhone’s front-facing TrueDepth camera to create a personal profile for when you’re playing Spatial Audio content.

Most importantly, the LC3 codec is coming in the beta firmware. This is designed to deliver better-quality audio calls and could be transformational in other ways for AirPods Pro 2—full details of this cool upgrade here.

While it’s only possible to install it if the headphones in question if they are paired to an iPhone running iOS 16 or iPad with iPadOS 16, it’s a racing certainty, I’d say, that the features will be in AirPods Pro 2 from launch. Now, back to those other new features and the sting in the tail.

MORE FROM FORBESApple AirPods Pro 2: Surprise Leak Reveals Stunning Upgrade

Here’s everything we’ve learned from Gurman’s latest missive, in his latest Power On newsletter.

Release date

Gurman says this is still scheduled for this year, which will be three years since the original AirPods Pro. By the way, I’d expect the next model to be called AirPods Pro second generation rather than AirPods Pro 2.

Though he doesn’t specify the date, I’d expect Apple to announce the next AirPods Pro at an event in September or October. That’s not certain, though: the originals were revealed in a behind-closed-doors event on October 28, 2019, and released two days later. The same arrangement could apply for the new earbuds.

Gurman also says that this new release is “about time”: after three years, early adopters may find their current earbuds have flagging batteries—though that’s not been my experience.

Health monitoring

For a while now, there have been rumors of new health-related features for the next AirPods Pro. Apple exec Kevin Lynch hinted last June about how the sensors in different devices could talk to each other with new features which would be possible.

MORE FROM FORBESAirPods Pro: Apple Hints At Amazing New Direction For Future AirPods

The first sensor predicted was so that the earbuds could measure the wearer’s heart rate through their ears. This is a neat extra which would be of real benefit for someone out for a run, for instance.

Secondly, a temperature sensor has been predicted, to measure the user’s body temperature. Again, this could be very useful.

However, the disappointing news is that Gurman says neither will arrive this year, which means we’re waiting for AirPods Pro 3 to reap the benefits, assuming the feature is still developed.

That’s not certain, though Gurman says, “I’m told that neither feature is likely to arrive in the 2022 upgrade, though both enhancements have been explored inside the company and could arrive one day.”

Let’s not hold our breath, then.

Even so, big updates are still expected in the 2022 model, including better voice calls and even, just possibly, lossless audio playback. Better battery life is on the cards, too.

We’ll know later in the year, but check back for updates as we have them.

MORE FROM FORBESApple iOS 16: Apple Just Revealed The Coolest iPhone Upgrade Yet

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