AirPod Pro 2 leak photos show that stem-like features may be retained.
This is a long-rumored feature of the new AirPods Pro 2, and it has been speculated for some time that Apple will either shorten or completely remove the stem. If a new study of an earlier leak is right, however, that may not be the case.
MacRumors revealed a series of leaked photographs last year showing AirPods Pro 2 with the stem intact, defying the stem-free trend (pictured above). New photos from concept designer Ian Zelbo show that the earphones are precisely the same size as they were before.
How does he know this? There was, however, one item that was readily evident in the images: the dark region on the interior of the earphones’ skin-detect sensors. As MacRumors(opens in new tab) illustrates below, the screen size has shifted significantly between the two versions.
It was possible to detect when anything was pressed against the AirPods Pro optical sensor, but it couldn’t tell what. It’s also possible that, even if nothing touches the speaker, music will continue to play.
Sensors for measuring water content in the wearer’s skin were added to AirPods 3 with more advanced technology. Shorter and thicker than the AirPod Pro 2, this sensor resembles the AirPod Pro 2 bud on the right in the illustration above.
On the AirPods 3, here is a comparison:
Zelbo has concluded that the AirPods Pro 2 form factor will be the same after comparing the two and assuming the original leak is real.
Considering all the talk of a new design, that may come as a surprise. However, going back and looking at the projections reveals plenty of room for error. Despite Apple’s stated goal of making the earbuds smaller, Mark Gurman believes that the challenges of incorporating features like noise cancellation, wireless antennae, and microphones into such a small size “may result in a less ambitious design when the device is finalised.”
That doesn’t imply there aren’t any new things to look forward to, even if the design is the same. Another recent rumour claims that the new buds will support lossless audio codecs, which would allow them to produce sound with never-before-heard fidelity.
In light of Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman’s prediction that we’ll see the AirPods Pro 2 in the fall, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be available in September alongside the iPhone 14.