AirPods Pro redesign imminent? Today MacRumors reported that renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gained insight into the next generations of AirPods Pro. The alleged new features echo previous rumours that we’ve heard about the upcoming successor to the original AirPods Pro.

According to Kuo, generation 2 will take full advantage of and embrace many of the new features of Apple Music. Specifically support for the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) and enhanced dynamic head tracking. ALAC was added to Apple Music earlier this year but unfortunately all AirPods models to date are unable to play this premium audio format.

Lossless audio typically offers much higher quality sound thanks to higher bit rates and a wider range of frequencies are represented. According to Apple, ALAC offers “audio resolutions ranging from 16-bit/44.1 kHz (CD Quality) up to 24-bit/192 kHz.” Apple claims that the difference between true Lossless audio and ALAC is virtually indistinguishable although Apple does offer support for both formats. It’s unclear from Kuo’s report if new the AirPods Pro will support both formats. In either case, it’s a huge win.

The suspected reason that current models of AirPods do not offer Lossless playback support is due to limits in Bluetooth bandwidth. Only last week Apple’s VP of acoustics hinted as such…

Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about. But also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximise or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth. But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth”

Gary Greaves, Apple via WhatHifI

In addition to supporting lossless playback, the second generation AirPods Pro is rumoured to receive a new wireless charging case with an integrated speaker. This would allow the case to emit a sound when lost making it easier for users to locate them. As it currently stands, AirPods Pro are able to play a sound inside the case but this is understandably less effective as the sound is concealed by the closed lid of the case.

An alleged design of the AirPods Pro 2 case featuring speakers. Credit to MacRumors.

What features do you hope to see in the new AirPods Pro? Personally, I’d like to see Apple adopt their AirPlay technology for reduced latency and higher bandwidth. It would also reduce the interference caused by other Bluetooth devices. Let’s see what 2022 has in store!


Featured Image: Miguel Angel Avila via Unsplash

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