I really thought that with the Apple launch event we'd have had all our leaks and surprises already. But no, I was wrong!
That's because according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the AirPods Pro 2 aren't being held back to October as I'd expected. Instead, as confirmed at Apple's Far Out event today, on 7th September, the AirPods Pro 2 are official – and will be available from 9th September. That's this Friday!
This is a really big deal, because with the exception of a very minor refresh the AirPods Pro, Apple's best wireless earbuds have stayed the same since their launch in 2019. And since then other firms have really upped their game in terms of features, sound quality and convenience – so unless you're really into Apple's way of doing things the AirPods Pro are a hard sell compared to Sony's all-conquering WF-1000XM4, Astell&Kern's amazing UW-100 or Apple's own Beats Fit Pro.
I've been tracking the AirPods Pro 2 rumours for ages now, and now that some of the predicted features are set to make it into production I think I know what my next pair of wireless earbuds are going to be.
Apple AirPods Pro 2: what to expect
There are two big changes that really matter to me: fit and sound quality. I'm not a fan of the AirPods Pro's stems – I prefer finned designs such as in my daily drivers, the Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch, which take the sound quality of the standard Melomanias and make them fit better – and while rumours suggested they were going to almost vanish, instead Apple has introduced a new touch control mechanism that sounds really cool.
The other oft-repeated rumour was that the AirPods Pro 2 are getting a big boost to their sound quality. Even my AirPods Max don't stream lossless audio because their Bluetooth codec isn't good enough; if as reported the AirPods Pro 2 are getting Bluetooth LE with its significantly improved audio bandwidth, that could mean a massive improvement in the way they play Apple Lossless.
I'm genuinely excited by this: as much as I love my AirPods Max, me and the AirPods Pro just don't quite gel, so these improvements could make the Pro 2 much more attractive. If they're as good as it sounds like they'll be, I'll see you at an Apple Store on launch day – which is now really soon, on 9th September. Pricing is confirmed at $249 in the US, but we'll have to wait to see how that translates elsewhere (I'm guessing £249 minimum).