Three years after Apple released the AirPods Pro, the company is at long last ready to talk about the second incarnation of the earbuds at its big September hardware event. Previous reports indicated that AirPods Pro 2 wouldn’t have significant design changes, with most of the changes reserved for the interior. But there’s one big update to the exterior: touch controls. You’ll be able to control audio playback and the volume with swipe gestures on the AirPods Pro’s stems.
The earbuds are powered by a new chip, the H2. Apple claims this will help AirPods Pro cancel out up to twice as much noise. You can expect an upgraded transparency mode too. There’s also a new driver that could help to improve the audio quality, and there’s spatial audio and dynamic head tracking support. Additionally, you’ll be able to use your iPhone’s camera to set up a custom spatial audio profile.
As for listening time, Apple says you’ll get up to six hours of use from a single charge with active noise cancellation on or 5.5 hours when using spatial audio. Apple claimed the original AirPods Pro would offer 4.5 hours of playback with ANC enabled, so that’s a 33 percent improvement. The charging case, meanwhile, offers 30 hours of listening time, which is six hours more than the last model. Speaking of which, you’ll be able to juice up the new charging case with an Apple Watch charger, as well as a Lightning cable, MagSafe or a Qi charger (no USB-C yet, sadly).
This time around, each earbud can play a sound when it’s missing to hopefully make it easier to locate with the help of Find My. The charging case also has a speaker to help you to find it when it’s misplaced.
You won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the second-gen AirPods Pro: They’ll be available to order on September 9th for $249, and will ship on September 23rd.
Follow all of the news from Apple’s iPhone event right here.