We've been been hearing rumours and leaks about the next generation of AirPods Pro for what feels like forever, but the successors to Apple's high-end earbuds are yet to materialise. That could soon be about to change – and Apple might have a somewhat unexpected reason for releasing them in 2022.
The current AirPods Pro are starting to look a little long in the tooth, with the standard AirPods getting a third new iteration last year, and the stunning AirPods Max arriving in 2020. And as well as looking a little dated, if you bought them early, your AirPods Pro might not be lasting too long these days – something Apple could be all too aware of. (Don't fancy waiting? Check out the best AirPods Pro deals available now.)
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (opens in new tab), a seasoned Apple leaker, Apple is readying the AirPods Pro 2 for a release "in the fall". And Gurman specifically notes that this will be good news for anyone who bought them a while ago: "The current model has been on the market since fall of 2019, so the batteries are already probably in trouble for some early adopters."
It's an interesting observation – and if Gurman knows that early adopters' batteries won't be faring too well these days, you can bet that Apple does too. It highlights one of the main limitations of such a tiny product: battery degradation. And while the deep-pocketed might rejoice at the idea of new AirPods Pro arriving just as their old ones are packing up, the more cynical might wonder if it's all part of Apple's plan to push users towards an upgrade.
But the upgrade could well be worth it. Recent reports have claimed the new AirPods Pro could be the first to support lossless audio, which could offer a "major selling point". That's certainly true – right now, lossless audio is pretty much impossible over Bluetooth. Whether Apple is working on some other method of steaming remains to be seen, but truly lossless wireless audio would definitely be something to shout about.
As for design, we've recently heard that the AirPods Pro 2 will finally do away with the stem, offering something similar to the Beats Fit Pro. We'll be curious to see whether a stemless pair of AirPods manages to retain the same iconic aesthetic – while the design was the subject of many a meme back in 2016, there's no denying its incredible popularity now.
So, we can add a fall release to our list of AirPods Pro 2 rumours. Time will of course tell whether this will turn out to be accurate, but if you want the best sound experience available right here and now, check out today's best AirPods deals below, and be sure to visit our round-up of the best wireless headphones.