Next-gen AirPods Pro could bring new design, better chip in late 2022

Next-gen AirPods Pro could bring new design, better chip in late 2022

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Next-gen AirPods Pro concept
They could look a little like this.
Concept: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

We could be waiting close to a year for Apple’s much-anticipated AirPods Pro upgrade, but according to one analyst, it will be well worth the wait. The next-generation buds are expected to deliver a brand-new design and a better chip.

They could also be Apple’s first headphones with fitness tracking capabilities.

AirPods Pro are due a big upgrade

AirPods Pro were introduced in October 2019 — over two years ago. At the time, they were the first significant upgrade the AirPods line had seen since Apple’s original wireless buds arrived in 2016, and they remain pretty terrific today.

Features like active noise cancellation and the Adaptive EQ make AirPods Pro a pricier but more compelling alternative to regular AirPods. However, it’s starting to feel like AirPods Pro are more than ready for a refresh now.

A big upgrade is on the way, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven reliable in the past. We probably won’t see it until late 2022, but a big redesign and new features will make it worth the wait.

A new design and a better chip

Kuo, who published his latest predictions in a research note seen by Cult of Mac, expects second-generation AirPods Pro to sport an all-new form factor that does away with stems to make the buds more like Beats Studio Buds.

It is also believed that the new AirPods Pro will also be Apple’s first to feature built-in sensors for fitness tracking. Although they almost certainly won’t be as capable as Apple Watch, they could track basic data like steps and runs.