AirPods 2 Features on Your Apple Buds Wishlist That May Actually Happen
Fans of Apple’s signature wireless earbuds are itching for an upgrade. The tech giant might have even hinted at the plans for their upcoming buds during their September 12 product launch, whose intro video seemed to explicitly hint at a couple of the most reliable predictions as to what new features a second-generation of AirPods could come with.
This has whipped the Apple aficionados of Reddit into a frenzy about what the new upgrades could be and when we can expect them. And while some ideas on these wishlists — for example different color options — are backed by little or no evidence, many of the most desired features seem all-but-certain.
In fact, everything from smoother Bluetooth connectivity to better sound quality are on the table for the second version of the buds that could be coming in early 2019.
AirPods 2 Wishlist: Wireless Charging Case
One of the most likely upgrades that you can probably count on? Users should be able to use a Qi wireless charger to juice up the AirPod battery case pretty soon. In fact, a tether-free charging case might even precede the second version of the earbuds.
Back during Apple’s 2017 iPhone keynote, Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller teased the AirPower wireless charging mat along with a cordless AirPods charging case. The charger was glaringly absent from this year’s iPhone announcement — an absence that could indicate further delays and setbacks — but plans to roll out a wirelessly charging AirPods case still seem on track for now.
That’s according to the company’s own site, which still has a small section under the AirPods page that reads “Optional wireless charging case (currently unavailable)”. It’s unclear whether or not Apple will wait until they release their own wireless charger before it launches this case, but seeing as iPhones have had integrated Qi charging capabilities since 2017, there’s no reason why the Cupertino-based company couldn’t make this happen sooner rather than later.
AirPods 2 Wishlist: Noise Cancellation
The most common complaint about AirPods is arguably the complaint that they can leak sound and aren’t the best at blocking outside noise. It’s little surprise then that noise-cancelling could be a marquee feature for the refreshed buds, according Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
Some rumors indicate even bigger changes are in store. A handful of Apple employees told Gurman that the company was planning on making the the follow-up to the AirPods an over-ear headset, which would drastically change the AirPods’ look.
This would also shed some light on the still somewhat puzzling decision to acquire Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion in 2014, the audio tech company which currently selling wired, noise canceling earbuds of its own. All the in-house talent, plus the multiple job openings for acoustic and sound design positions, make it hard to believe that there aren’t lots of people at Apple working on getting better sound quality into a smaller device.
AirPods 2 Wishlist: Built-in Heart Rate Monitor
The newly released Apple Watch Series 4 got a massive heart sensor upgrade leading some to question whether the AirPods 2 could have similar capabilities. The buds could theoretically be retrofitted with biometric sensors to monitor users’ heart rate, further building on Apple’s health-focused wearable arsenal.
This prediction comes from the same Gurman report that predicted noise cancellation, stating that the company has “internally discussed” the possibility.
AirPods 2 Wishlist: Bluetooth 5.0 Support
Finally, expect improved Bluetooth connectivity with better range for substantially less battery, thanks to the Bluetooth 5 upgrade. This new version of the wireless technology will double the speed at which data is capable of being transferred to 2 megabits per second, while also increasing the range by a multiple of four to support 40 meters when users are indoors.
So the good news is that when the AirPods successor is eventually announced, we’ll likely see a wireless charging case, improved sound quality, some new health features, and better range. The bad news is that unfortunately, they probably won’t be here this holiday season.