AirPods Pro 2 are expected to launch before the end of the year, and 52audio has published images depicting the hardware design. The site previously published images of the third-gen AirPods design ahead of their release.
52audio first came across our radar last year when the publication shared what turned out to be accurate images of the new AirPods 3 design. While leaks were everywhere for third-gen AirPods leading up to their release, 52audio published actual images of the hardware that later shipped. Today’s images do not appear to be actual photos of products like last time, but the design changes match an earlier leak posted by MacRumors last fall.
There’s no big surprise for the design of the actual earbuds themselves with AirPods Pro 2. While a stemless design akin to Beats Studio Buds was initially rumored, we’ve expected AirPods Pro 2 to maintain the AirPods Pro design for a while now.
What’s inside AirPods Pro 2 is what matters for the upcoming upgrade to AirPods Pro. The upgraded hardware is expected to be boosted by a significantly upgraded processor capable of Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio playback – we’ve also reported on the Bluetooth 5.2-powered LC3 codec in Apple’s AirPods beta firmware. This codec touts higher audio quality streaming with less power.
Health features have also long been rumored to be in the works for AirPods at some point, but we wouldn’t hold our breath on heart rate tracking and temperature monitoring coming to these earphones.
Apple re-released the AirPods Pro charging case last year to add MagSafe compatibility to the wireless charging-compatible accessory. This year Apple appears to be planning a visually refreshed AirPods Pro 2 charging case. Seen in the previous leak – as well as today’s images – are built-in holes presumably for playing an audio tone through when using newly added Find My support to locate a lost case.
52audio also speculates that the updated charging case will switch to USB-C based on the images, but the similarity between Lightning and USB-C ports make this harder to assess in the images. While USB-C is expected to come to the iPhone 15 in 2023, we expect Lightning to stick around on the iPhone 14 this fall. Furthermore, reliable leaks have pointed to Lightning remaining for AirPods Pro 2 this year already.
In addition to the cutouts for sound output of some sort on the new charging case, a side component is new to the case design. This was present in the earlier leak as well as today’s images. The component appears to be capable of supporting a loop accessory like point-and-shoot cameras. Third-party cases with clips are already popular for AirPods cases, so it’s possible Apple is integrating a holder without the need for a protective case for the charging case.
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Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.