Apple did not announce the AirPods 2 or start selling the AirPods wireless charging case at the iPhone event in September. While there is a chance that Apple will surprise us with new AirPods this month, it’s not a sure thing. The biggest question is, should you buy AirPods today or wait for AirPods 2.
If you’re looking for truly wireless earbuds, the AirPods are at the top of the list and for a good reason. The current generation is hands down the best wireless earbud experience on the iPhone or iPad. Apple confirmed a wireless charging AirPod case that is coming in 2018, and rumors point to important new AirPods 2 features.
With iOS 12, there’s a new AirPods feature available on the existing model. With Live Listen, you can set your iPhone or iPad somewhere and the sound it picks up is transmitted to the AirPods. This works similar to remote listening devices for hearing aids, and it can help you hear better in a crowded room or lecture hall.
The current AirPods are still worth buying in 2018, but you should pay attention to what is happening with the rumored AirPods 2 release that could still arrive this year.
AirPods 2 Rumors
According to Ming-Chi Kou, of KGI Securities, Apple is working on AirPods 2 for the second half of the year. In the report, Kou only mentions a new smaller quartz component. There is no mention of changes to the AirPods size, design or carrying case.
AirPods went out of stock at Apple Stores across Europe, but they are now in stock at the same stores.
It makes sense for Apple to keep the AirPod design the same as they are likely still working on the AirPower wireless charger that can also charge the iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time.
While there are no new AirPods from the Apple Event in September, we expect to see an iPad and Mac event in October, and Apple could simply deliver new AirPods in Q4 before Christmas shopping is over.
A report from Bloomberg outlines new AirPods 2 features including an upgraded W2 wireless chip that should help with wireless connectivity. You will also be able to use Siri by saying, “Hey Siri” instead of tapping on one of the AirPods. The same report indicates Apple is working on a water-resistant set of AirPods 3 for next year. This 2019 model would be designed to survive splashes and rain better, but not to be worn in the water or underwater.
In late June, another Bloomberg report from Mark Gurman states that Apple is working on a high end version of the AirPods for 2019, but that we should still likely see a new model in 2018. Another report states that Apple hoped to release the AirPower wireless charger in June, which could have arrived alongside the wireless charging AirPod case, but ultimately is delaying AirPower until the fall. This is yet another sign you won’t see the AirPods until then.
A Barclay’s analyst suggests Apple may cut the price of AirPods later this year, but could actually push AirPods 2 until 2019. This report also suggests Apple will add some noise cancelling features.
With this information in mind, here are some reasons you might want to skip buying the current AirPods and wait for the AirPods 2 to arrive later this year.
Wait for New AirPods Features
Apple rarely announces a new mobile product simply to add a number to the end of the product name. In fact there is a good chance that the AirPods 2 name will just be AirPods when Apple announces them.
We typically see Apple add new features to products especially after lengthy periods between updates. The original AirPods will be at least two years old by the time Apple announces AirPods 2, which means there is plenty of time for innovation.
The AirPods 2 will feature a new W2 chip and a "Hey Siri" feature to use Siri without tapping your AirPod according to the latest rumor.
Apple's push to incorporate sensors and collect data that you can use in the Health app is well known. We've seen other earbuds include heart rate sensors, and while the Apple Watch handles that job, it could be something that Apple builds into a new set of AirPods.
Apple owns patents for AirPods with built-in Biometric sensors including EKG sensors capable of measuring much more than just your heart rate.
If you like the current AirPods, but are hoping for something more, wait to see what Apple announces this year. There's a good chance that some features may not come until AirPods 3, but if you wait a few months you'll at least get to make a more informed decision.
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