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AirPods Pro 2 is likely to feature almost the exact same design, contrary to rumored ‘stemless’

AirPods Pro 2 is likely to feature almost the exact same design, contrary to rumored 'stemless'
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The AirPods Pro 2 may feature much of the same design as the current model, contrary to rumors of a “stemless” design, according to new findings based on alleged leaked images shared by MacRumors Last year.


Last year, MacRumors shared images that allegedly reveal the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ – apparently showing a design with very few changes. Now new 3D scale comparisons based on MacRumors‘ images by designer Apple concept Ian Zelbo provide further proof that the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ will not have a so-called “stemless” design.

Images from last year show that the purported second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ headphones don’t feature downward-facing infrared sensors to detect when they’re in a user’s ears, but the latest 3D comparisons seen by MacRumors are actively suggesting that the new ‌AirPods Pro‌ will feature 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 discern whether the headphones are actually in the user’s ears rather than in a pocket or on a table. The sensors work by detecting the water content of the wearer’s skin, ensuring they don’t mistake other surfaces for flesh.

Instead of skin detection sensors in each earbud, the current ‌AirPods Pro‌ use two optical sensors to detect if they are in the user’s ear. Although they effectively perform the same function, optical sensors can simply tell when they are against a surface or covered, rather than specifically against skin. This means that if you put an ‌AirPods Pro‌ earphone in a pocket or on a surface, it may resume playing by mistake. That’s why Apple switched to skin detection sensors for greater accuracy, with the added benefit of only needing a single, slightly larger center sensor per earbud.

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

Zelbo’s scale comparisons confirm that purported second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ images show skin-detecting sensors that are the exact same size and orientation as on third-generation AirPods. On the current-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌, the primary infrared sensor is part of a long, thin black oblong that also contains a grille of the same shape. The new skin detection sensor cutout that would be present on the second generation ‌AirPods Pro‌, like the third generation AirPods, features a shorter and noticeably thicker oblong with a circular grille.

This small but crucial detail may suggest that the images are more believable than previously thought, making it more likely that the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ won’t feature any major redesigns. In fact, Zelbo’s findings suggest that the design of the new earbud is identical to the current-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ beyond the skin-detection sensor cutout, with no changes to the stem length or shape of the earbud. the in-ear part of the earpiece.

airpods pro in caseFirst-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ with IR sensors

Rumors have rallied around the idea of ​​the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ moving to a “stemless” design, but upon closer inspection, reliable sources haven’t explicitly stated that this should happen. For example, Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo believes that the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ will feature a “new form factor design“, probably due to knowledge of some kind of retooling, but did not specifically say that they will feature a stemless design.

In October 2020, Bloombergit is Mark Gurman said that Apple was aiming to make the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ headphones more compact by eliminating the short stem that currently extends from the bottom, and reportedly tested a design with “a more rounded shape that fills a user’s ear more” , bringing them in style closer to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and designs from Amazon and Google. Still, Gurman said Apple was having trouble fitting the ‌AirPods Pro‌ hardware, including antennas and microphones, into a much smaller package, which “could result in a less ambitious design once the product is finalized.”

Feature of airpods pro 2Rear of alleged second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ charging case

Kuo also apparently supported other aspects depicted in MacRumors‘ second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ images, potentially boosting their credibility. Earlier this year, Kuo explained that the second-generation ‌‌AirPods Pro‌‌ will include a charging case from which users can trigger a sound to highlight its location, allowing the headphones and case to be located separately. This lines up directly with the speaker holes visible on the charging case seen in MacRumors‘ pictures. It seems likely that this sound-emitting charging case integrate into the Find My appsimilar to how users can currently play sound from their individual AirPods inside the case to locate them.

It is therefore by no means certain based on information from Kuo, Gurman and MacRumors that the second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ will feature a stemless design. Indeed, there is now apparently growing evidence to the contrary.

Apple’s Beats Studio Buds, which share much of the technology with the ‌AirPods Pro‌, have an entirely in-ear design and feature no “stems” at all. Just because the Beats Studio Buds feature a “stemless” design doesn’t necessarily mean the ‌AirPods Pro‌ will follow; Apple often looks to find ways to differentiate its Beats and AirPods product lines. Apple has also established a distinctive and easily identifiable visual brand for AirPods with the “stem” design and use of white plastic, and it’s debatable whether the company is ready to stray from that for now. not to mention the impact of stem removal on the implementation of force sensor controls and beamforming microphones.

The second-generation ‌AirPods Pro‌ are rumored to support Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC) via a new connection solution, with a launch date in the fall of this year now seems likely.

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