AirPods Pro 2 are likely to have almost exactly the same design, contrary to the reputation of “Stemless”

According to new findings based on alleged leaked images shared by AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Pro 2 may have much of the same design as the current model, as opposed to rumors of a “trackless” design. MacRumors last year.


Last year, MacRumors shared images that reportedly reveal the second generation of “AirPods Pro” – seemingly showing design with very few changes. Now new 3D comparisons based on MacRumorsPictures by Apple graphic designer Ian Zelba provide further proof that the second generation of “AirPods Pro” will not have a so-called “footless” design.

From last year’s pictures, it is clear that the alleged second-generation “AirPods Pro” headphones do not contain downward-facing IR sensors that would detect when they are in the user’s ears, but the latest 3D comparisons they have seen MacRumors actively suggest that the new “AirPods Pro” will include skin detection sensors.

airpods pro 2 1Alleged second generation ‌AirPods Pro‌

Apple’s skin detection sensors debuted in third-generation AirPods, providing a more accurate way to detect if headphones are really in the user’s ears than in a pocket or on a desk. The sensors work to detect the water content of the wearer’s skin, ensuring that other surfaces are not mistaken for meat.

Instead of skin detection sensors in each handset, the current AirPods use dual optical sensors to detect if they are in the user’s ear. While effectively performing the same function, optical sensors can easily detect when they are against the surface or covered, rather than specifically against the skin. This means that if you put the “AirPods Pro” in your pocket or on the surface, playback may resume incorrectly. That’s why Apple switched to skin sensors for greater accuracy, with the added benefit of only one slightly larger center sensor per handset.

airpods 3 vs airpods pro 2Third generation AirPods with skin detection sensors

Zelbo’s scaled comparisons confirm that the alleged second-generation “AirPods Pro” images show skin-detecting sensors that are exactly the same size and orientation as the third-generation AirPods. On the current generation ‌AirPods Pro‌, the main IR sensor is part of a long thin black rectangle, which also contains a grid of the same shape. The new skin detection sensor section, which is assumed to be present on the second generation “AirPods Pro” as well as the third generation AirPods, has a shorter, noticeably thicker rectangle with a circular grid.

This small but crucial detail may indicate that the images are more believable than previously thought – which increases the likelihood that the second generation of “AirPods Pro” will have no major redesigned design. In fact, Zelbo’s findings suggest that the design of the new earphone is identical to the current generation of “AirPods Pro” behind the skin detection sensor cutout, with no change in stem length or the shape of the earpiece.

airpods for in caseThe first generation of “AirPods Pro” with IR sensors

Rumors have gathered around the idea of ​​moving the second generation of “AirPods Pro” to a “footless” design, but on closer inspection a reputable source has not explicitly indicated that this should happen. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for example, believes that the second generation of AirPods Pro will have a “new design form factor”, probably due to knowledge of some kind of redesign, but he did not specifically say that they will have a traceless design.

In October 2020 BloombergMark Gurman said Apple intended to make the second generation of “AirPods Pro” headphones more compact by removing the short shank that currently protrudes from the bottom, and reportedly tested a design with a “rounder shape that fills more user space.” ear, ”bringing Samsung Galaxy Buds and designs like Amazon and Google closer in style. Still, Gurman said Apple faces problems integrating “AirPods Pro” hardware, including antennas and microphones, into a much smaller enclosure, which “may result in a less ambitious design when the product is complete.”

Airpods function for 2Alleged second-generation rear charging case “AirPods Pro”

Kuo also seemingly supported other aspects depicted in MacRumorsSecond-generation images of “AirPods Pro” that potentially increase their credibility. Earlier this year, Kuo explained that the second generation of AirPods Pro will include a charging case from which users can launch a sound to highlight its location, allowing the headphones and case to be placed separately. This is directly aligned with the speaker holes visible on the charging case MacRumors‘slides. It seems likely that this sound-emitting charging case will be integrated into Find My, just as users can currently emit sound from their individual AirPods inside the case to help find them.

It is therefore by no means certain on the basis of information from Kuo, Gurman and MacRumors that the second generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ will have a design without stems. In fact, there is now seemingly increasing evidence to the contrary.

Apple Beats Studio Buds, which share a large number of technologies with “AirPods Pro”, have a completely in-ear design and no “stopwatch” at all. The fact that Beats Studio Buds offer a “footless” design does not necessarily mean that “AirPods Pro” will follow; Apple often tries to find ways to differentiate its Beats and AirPods product lines. Apple has also created a distinctive and easily identifiable visual brand for AirPods with a “stem” design and the use of white plastic, and it is questionable whether the company is ready to deviate, not to mention the impact of removing the stem on power sensor and beam-forming microphone controls.

The second generation of AirPods Pro is said to support Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC) through a new connectivity solution, with a launch date in the fall of this year now seems likely.

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