AirPods Pro 2 likely won't get a much-hyped health feature – and it won't matter

a runner wearing the airpods pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Bloomberg reporter, and frequent Apple news source, Mark Gurman has given his two cents' worth on one of the key features expected to debut in Apple's hotly-anticipated AirPods Pro 2 – and it's not good news. 

What's up? Well, fitness fans had long been hoping for the introduction of temperature-sensing (something which Honor initially reported would arrive for the first time ever in its Earbuds 3 Pro, but never managed to deliver) and even heart-rate monitoring to the new AirPods. But in his most recent Power On Newsletter, Gurman writes:

"This years’ AirPods Pro are unlikely to get heart-rate monitoring… Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year’s model gaining the ability to determine a wearer’s heart rate or body temperature. I’m told that neither feature is likely to arrive in the 2022 upgrade, though both enhancements have been explored inside the company and could arrive one day."

Gurman also notes that if you bought Apple's inaugural flagship noise-cancelling AirPods Pro true wireless earbuds anywhere near their launch date in October 2019, the likelihood is that you'll be after a younger model soon – because the batteries inside even the best true wireless earbuds do not last forever. 

The new, upgraded set of in-ear AirPods were arguably first rumored to get the feature in a report from claiming that the AirPods Pro 2 will include temperature and heart-rate sensors, as well as speakers in the charging case (the latter to help the hearing-impaired). 

Opinion: if Apple can deliver elsewhere, nobody will get hot under the collar

a runner wearing the airpods pro at the beach

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 will likely help users in various ways, if not by taking their heart-rate or temperature. (Image credit: Apple)

Such is the popularity of Apple's game-changing AirPods lineup, it seems highly unlikely that the omission of a thermometer or heart-rate tracker will foil them. 

Yes, we'd like on-ear volume control, an upgraded H1 chip, a USB-C charger and the latest rumors – which are all about that case – to come to fruition, but we literally just had the situation where Honor's Earbuds 3 Pro failed to deliver similar health features, and it didn't matter thanks to their sonic excellence. So if these also nail the audio, we won't care.

And don't forget, this particular feature (or probable lack thereof) is not to be confused with the Apple patent spotted in February which could allow the Cupertino giant's earbuds to monitor your workouts and give you feedback on how to improve those yoga poses. That patent, (which was spotted by Apple Insider) describes a 'Wireless Ear Bud With Pose Detection', and it serves as proof that Apple is indeed hot on the ways ways in which future AirPods could assist users with exercise routines – in future buds, even if it doesn't happen right now. 

This particular tech might use sensors to gather user orientation information (rather than user temperature) including accelerometer measurements, which would tie in nicely with Apple Fitness Plus, Apple's subscription-based workout service offering a selection of exercise classes to try at home, including yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), treadmill running, spin and pilates.

Of course, this is Apple, a company that hasn't even officially confirmed it is working on the next generation of its noise-cancelling earbuds and almost certainly won't do before the actual launch of its AirPods Pro 2 – as they may or may not be called. 

But when they come (and Mark Gurman certainly thinks they will come, by the end of the year) there will surely be much to celebrate and much to get to grips with. 

For now, stay tuned – we'll bring you all of the leaks as they… spring.

Becky Scarrott
Senior Audio Staff Writer

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.