In a tweet, the tipster revealed the price and potential release date of the second-gen AirPods Pro, and if they're proven right, they won't be cheap – and you'll be waiting a long time to get your hands on them:
AirPods Pro gen 2-249$-Better battery life-A bit better of noise cancelling.-Ambient light sensors.Overall, a not so great update, more of like the AirPods gen 2 over AirPods gen 1.Expect them to release in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022.October 19, 2020
According to the leak, the AirPods Pro 2 – which some are calling the AirPods Pro Lite – will cost the same as their predecessors ($249 / £249 / AU$399), and won't be released until the end of 2021 at best.
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Fitness-tracking for your ears
The leak also suggests that the next AirPods Pro won't be vastly different from their predecessors, citing small improvements to the noise cancellation tech and the introduction of "ambient light sensors".
That backs up a previous report (opens in new tab) by Digitimes that said future AirPods will use ambient light sensors to take biometric measurements – potentially for monitoring blood oxygen levels like the Apple Watch 6.
As posited by MacRumors (opens in new tab), this could work in a similar way to the ear-based clip on pulse oximeters used in hospitals, which shine light through the earlobe to detect the amount of oxygen in a patient's bloodstream. It's not clear whether the design of the AirPods Pro would have to change materially to allow this to happen, but we think it's unlikely that Apple would ditch the design that has made its earbuds so ubiquitous.
While those new features sound interesting, we'd be disappointed if that's all the new AirPods Pro have to offer – we'd love to see improved audio quality and battery life, for example.
Long before that though, we're expecting to see the first Apple over-ear headphones, the so-called AirPods Studio. Following years of speculation, leaks, and rumors, the AirPods Studio are expected to launch before 2020 is out – though recent reports of production delays could scupper this, pushing that release date into the beginning of 2021.