Apple is largely expected to release a new version of AirPods with significant upgrades and features sometime very soon. The new, so-called “AirPods Pro” may even be coming a lot sooner than later.
We've compiled everything we know so far about the upcoming Apple wireless headphones — including features, price and release date. Continue reading to browse everything we know about AirPods Pro.
The biggest change rumored for AirPods Pro is an overhauled design, which was first spotted in an alleged leak out of the supply chain depicting an AirPods form factor with rubber ear tips. But despite the initial sketchiness of that report, the new design was pretty much confirmed in a leaked icon spotted in a beta version of iOS 13.2.
That redesign will also extend to the charging case, which will be slightly larger and a different shape to accommodate the new wireless headphones. And case makers are already placing bets that the design will turn out to be genuine. Apple may offer a Qi-compatible wireless charging case for AirPods Pro, which could help differentiate it from Powerbeats Pro. But that hasn’t been confirmed.
Rubber Ear Tips
While part of the AirPods Pro redesign, the rubberized and interchangeable ear tips are a significant enough feature to highlight separately. Those rubberized ear tips will allow for better noise isolation, but could also allow AirPods Pro to fit in a wider variety of ears than regular, non-interchangeable AirPods.
AirPods don't fit every ear, which has been a consistent complaint about them since they debuted. Aside from resolving that, the rubber ear tips could also mean that AirPods Pro will be a bit harder to knock out of your ears. And, presumably, AirPods Pro will come with several ear tips, which users can swap out or replace at will.
Active Noise Cancelation
AirPods Pro are also largely expected to sport some type of Active Noise Cancelation (ANC) technology. That would bring Apple’s own branded headphones in-line with several Beats products that currently feature noise cancelation.
More than that, AirPods Pro are rumored to sport a type of ANC called Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelation, which will monitor the noise in the ambient environment to tailor the noise cancelation. The system, similar to ones seen on Beats Studio3 headphones, could even analyze the fit of your headphones to optimize playback quality.
Increased Water Resistance
Apple’s upcoming higher-tier AirPods are also rumored to sport some type of enhanced water resistance. That’ll be a major upgrade compared to current-generation AirPods, which don’t have any type of water resistance rating at all.
Don’t expect them to be swim-proof, however. Most current rumors suggest that they’ll simply be resistant to splashes of sweat or rain. There’s also no word on whether they’ll actually have an official IP rating — or what that rating will be.
Other AirPods Pro Features
AirPods Pro are also expected to be “longer-range.” Rumors suggest that they’ll be able to work further from an iPhone than past AirPods. More than anything else, this hints that they could feature some type of upgraded wireless chip (perhaps with other benefits).
There are plenty of other potential features rumored to come to a future version of AirPods, such as advanced health sensors like a heart rate monitor. Those are certainly possibilities for AirPods in general, but we haven’t seen any specific rumors suggesting they’ll specifically show up on AirPods Pro.
AirPods Pro Price
With “Pro” in the name, you can expect the upcoming AirPods to be more expensive. Current rumors indicate that they could retail for around $260 — significantly more than current AirPods but about on-par with Powerbeats Pro and other Beats headphones.
Apple won’t force you to buy more expensive AirPods, however. By all accounts, AirPods Pro won’t replace Apple’s current wireless headphones. Instead, they’ll be sold alongside current generation AirPods as a higher-end alternative.
AirPods Pro Release Date
Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously forecast that AirPods Pro will be released sometime between late 2019 and early 2020. More recent reports, including one from the China Economic Daily, suggest that AirPods Pro could come by the end of October 2019.
Previously, AirPods Pro were expected to debut at a potential October keynote alongside new Macs and other Apple products. Based on the usual timing of media invites, it’s looking clear that there won’t be an October keynote this year. Instead, Apple may debut the new AirPods via press release.