AirPods Pro 2: latest news and rumors

AirPods Pro 2 are expected in 2022, so here's the expected release date, price and features

AirPods Pro worn by woman who is pressing the stalk
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple AirPods Pro 2 are one of the most anticipated tech releases coming soon, with the Apple audio faithful keen to hear what kind of AirPods Pro 2 price and release date to expect – and if the latest rumours are to be believed, it really won't be too long before they appear.

Surprisingly, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 haven't been the topic of too many rumours and leaks over the years, despite the massive popularity of the mighty Apple AirPods Pro – stories about the AirPods 3rd Gen were swirling around for ages before Apple finally unveiled them.

But here in 2022, leaks and rumours are starting to hot up around the AirPods Pro 2, including what improvements to expect, and even hints of a radical new design. These all the kinds of thing that would keep the new AirPods near the top of our lists of the best wireless earbuds and best noise-cancelling earbuds.

We'll be keeping this page up to date with all the AirPods Pro 2 news you need to know, which will no doubt start to come thick and fast as the year progresses towards their expected release date later in 2022. In fact, let's start there…

Apple AirPods Pro 2 release date

Noted analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has predicted that AirPods Pro 2 will release late in 2022 – within the last three months. That makes logical sense: AirPods are always a huge hit at Christmas, so releasing in the run-up to Christmas is a pretty sensible thing to do.

AirPods 3rd Gen released just before Christmas in 2021, for example, and the original AirPods Pro came out in late 2019… though we should also note that AirPods 2nd Gen actually came out during March, so Apple has mixed this up before.

The other question is whether they'll definitely come out in 2022 or not. At the end of 2021, Apple quietly updated the current AirPods Pro with support for Apple's MagSafe wireless charging – essentially just adding some magnets to supplement the regular wireless charging it already had. It just seems a little odd to make such a small upgrade to a product you're planning to replace in a year, though it's far from impossible that this is what happened.

However, there have also been reports more recently that AirPods Pro 2 are starting to enter production, ready for a launch at the end of 2022. Now, it's worth noting that there were similar reports around AirPods 3 that failed to accurately predict its release date initially, but there's definitely a lot of smoke around a 2022 launch for AirPods Pro 2, which suggests some kind of fire.

Whether it happens in 2022 or 2023, we'd still put our money on a pre-Christmas launch, probably just after the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 if it happens in 2022. And speaking of putting our money on it…

Apple AirPods Pro 2 price

The earliest major leak of the Apple AirPods Pro 2 suggested a price of $249, which is what the current model costs – though that rumour also said they may come out in 2021, which evidently did not come to pass.

With AirPods 3rd Gen costing £169/$179, Apple will want to make sure that AirPods Pro 2 have a cost that reflects their extra features and sound quality compared to the non-Pro AirPods, so sticking at around £239/$249 makes sense. It's also comparable to the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds that Apple is competing with.

There is a chance that Apple would keep the current AirPods Pro around and drop their price (perhaps down to £209/$219 or so), with the AirPods Pro 2 coming in at closer to £300/$300. If the sound quality is a major improvement, I could definitely imagine that happening: it would mirror what they've done with the AirPods 2nd Gen and AirPods 3rd Gen, after all. Perhaps the new model would be an AirPods Pro Max, if you will. (I'd understand if you won't.)

Apple AirPods Pro 2 features

This is the area we know least about so far for AirPods Pro 2! In fact, it's quite possible that not much will change in terms of specific features: Apple cleverly built the original AirPods Pro to be very upgradeable, and added features such as Spatial Audio support after launch, meaning they were kind of their own update.

The two main things that have been suggested are, unsurprisingly, improved battery life, improved noise cancelling and improved audio quality. The latter is the area where something really interesting might happen: rumours say that Apple is working on adding hi-res wireless support to AirPods Pro 2. But this wouldn't be by adding aptX HD Bluetooth support – that would be pointless, since iPhones don't support aptX. Apple instead may be working on its own high-quality wireless tech delivered via Bluetooth, a bit like how Sony developed the LDAC hi-res streaming tech for its headphones.

There's one feature we hope to see in AirPods Pro 2, though hasn't been leaked yet: support for ultra-wideband (UWB) location finding, just like Apple AirTags use. This would enable UWB-enabled iPhones (including iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models) to literally point you in the direction of your earbuds if you misplace them, as long as you're within a certain distance.

Apple AirPods Pro 2 design

This is where the rumours say we'll see the biggest change in the AirPods Pro 2: one leak claims that AirPods Pro 2 will lose the famous stalks completely. Since the original AirPods Pro was the first to cut back the stalks (with AirPods 3rd Gen following suit years later), it would be fitting for the new version to be the one to get rid of them totally.

It's been said that the AirPods Pro 2's design will be more like the Beats Fit Pro than previous AirPods models, though we doubt AirPods Pro will include the exercise-friendly secure-fit fins of those Beats.

Matthew Bolton
Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.