It’s been three years since the original AirPods Pro were launched — a lifetime when it comes to technology — but Apple finally announced its second-generation AirPods Pro at today’s Far Out iPhone 14 event. With an upgraded H2 chip, these headphones will have double the noise cancellation, newly personalized Spatial Audio, touch control and more.
Ready to hit the order button? Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Apple AirPods 2, including price, when you can get your hands on them and all the nifty new features you can expect.
How to preorder AirPods Pro 2
The new AirPods Pro 2 with H2 chip retail for the same price as the AirPods Pro (though you can often find those for less). They can be ordered online and in the Apple store today (Sept. 9) and will be available to purchase in stores two weeks later on Sept 23.
What you need to know
Better sound and fit
The big guns on the AirPods Pro 2 all emanate from the new H2 processor packed inside. The design hasn’t changed, but yes, they promise to sound better, with high bandwidth connectivity, low distortion audio drivers and a custom amplifier. They are also being touted to offer more clarity over a wider range of sound frequencies.
Apple also announced an update to its Spatial Audio, one of our favorite features on both the AirPods and certain Beats headphones, and promises to personalize it based on the size and shape of your head and ears — using iOS 16 and your iPhone camera to help adjust it and set up an informed Spatial Audio profile. Plus, it comes with a bonus, extra-small ear tip for a better fit in tinier ear canals.
Double the noise cancellation
When it comes to active noise cancellation (ANC), the H2 chip cancels out twice the amount of noise with the help of a newly placed microphone and vent. And the new adaptive transparency mode processes at 48,000 times per second, acting instantly to any noise around you in order to keep loud sounds at bay (such as piercing construction) while letting in the noise you want to stay aware of.
Finally, touch controls
You know you wanted it, so Apple is finally adding simple touch controls to the AirPods Pro 2. Just swipe the stem to adjust volume and control media. These controls complement the existing force sensor from the previous AirPods Pro, which allow you to control music playback and summon Siri with quick pinches of the stems.
Battery life and charging get a lift
Apple says the AirPods Pro 2 are even more power efficient, with a 33% battery life increase of six hours from a single charge. Add on the charging case, which comes with a lanyard loop, and you’ll get 30 hours of listening time. In addition, that same case can now juice up on any Apple Watch charger, in addition to MagSafe, Lightning cable or Qi charger.
Of course, none of this helps if you can’t hold on to your headphones, so we’re thrilled that each earbud and the case itself can play its own sound so you can easily locate them using Find My.
The AirPods Pro 2 look to make some promising upgrades to what have long been some of the best wireless earbuds you can buy, and we’re eager to see how the buds’ improved noise cancellation, controls and sound quality hold up in the real world. There aren’t many huge reasons for existing AirPods Pro owners to make the switch (at least on paper), but they could be the new jumping-on point for those willing to invest in high-end Apple earbuds. We’ll be putting the new AirPods Pro through their full paces in our upcoming review, so stay tuned.