At the Far Out event on September 7, Apple announced several new products, including the next-generation AirPods Pro earbuds. Not much has changed in the looks as the updated version still has the famous stems, but Apple has been busy with some major upgrades under the hood. Here’s a quick guide to the new features and when to listen to them.
New H2 Processor and Noise Canceling
The heart of the AirPods Pro (2022) is the new H2 chip that drives the procedures. Due to the more powerful specs, the active noise canceling feature on the 2022 model is twice as powerful as the one it replaces.
There’s a new Adaptive Transparency mode that monitors the environment and can adjust the ANC to prevent loud noises like passing trucks from spoiling your music. And there’s now an extra-small earplug, which should ensure those with smaller ears can still enjoy a secure fit that keeps out surrounding cacophonies.
Updated speaker and personalized spatial audio
The new AirPods Pro feature a new low-distortion audio driver that should provide greater clarity and detail across a wider frequency range. This can be further enhanced with the new capabilities for personalized spatial audio in iOS 16. By using your iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to scan your head and ears, you can create personalized signature audio mixes that are tailored to you! This will create an immersive depth to the audio landscape that promises to be quite something. (Note that this should be available for all AirPods that already have Spatial Audio, as it’s part of iOS 16.)
Finally, Apple brings volume controls to the AirPods Pro with new swipe gestures that let you slide your finger up or down to adjust the output level of the buttons. These, of course, work alongside the classic tap controls to pause, play, or trigger other simple actions.
Longer battery life
With all this quality sound on offer, you’ll be happy to know that Apple has managed to increase the durability of its batteries, with the new AirPods Pro offering up to six hours of playback on a single charge. This means that they offer 33% more charging time than their predecessors, with a total of 30 hours of charging time from the case.
Should you lose the case, the new precision search feature makes it easier to locate them, aided by a speaker that will sound as you approach the device when you search for it with your iPhone. The speaker also acts as an indicator for when the battery is charging or running low, thanks to new sounds paired with the classic LED indicator. You’ll also find a new closure that allows you to attach the cover to a lanyard or key ring so you don’t lose them in the first place.
Apple Watch Charger
One of the simplest but potentially most useful upgrades to the AirPods Pro is that you can now charge the case wirelessly using your existing Apple Watch charging puck. It also supports other Qi wireless chargers, so you don’t need to buy a special new power source for your Pros.
Price and release date
The new AirPods Pro will cost $249 / £249 and will be available to pre-order from Apple on September 9, with a release date of September 23. Apple offers free engraving on the case, which now includes Memoji, so if you’ve ever wanted your cartoon self to give you a smile when you reach for your AirPods Pro, Apple has you covered.