We round up the leaks and rumours related to the release date, tech specs, price and new features of the AirPods 2. Apple launched its AirPods Bluetooth wireless earbuds in September 2016 alongside the iPhone 7. They made a big splash at the time - "sound quality is excellent, the auto play/pause function is great, the accuracy of the Siri controls is a pleasant surprise and call quality is impressive," said our reviewer - but more than a year later, we're keen to see what Apple's got as a follow-up.
In this article we look at the leaks and rumours related to the AirPods 2 - their release date, tech specs, price and new features. For alternatives that are available right now, see Best wireless earbuds.
The first AirPods launch took place in Sept 2016. Plenty of Apple watchers expected new versions the following autumn, but it's something of a myth that the company updates its products on a dependable yearly basis: that only really applies to the iPhone now, with even the iPad falling into a less predictable pattern.
Nevertheless, with a year and a half gone since the launch, it is becoming more and more likely that the AirPods 2 are imminent. And Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, citing "people familiar with the matter", says we should expect the new product - which already has an internal designation, B288 - in 2018. There are two obvious Apple events coming up.
In 2015 and 2016, Apple ran media events in March: major events which saw the launch of the Apple Watch and the iPhone SE. Last spring there was no event, admittedly, just a series of lower-key launches announced via press release, but we still expect something in March 2018 for the iPhone SE 2, and perhaps the AirPods 2.
If not in the spring, the AirPods 2 should be announced at WWDC 2018 in June.
Could it be any longer than that? We hope not, but Barclays analysts reckon the announcement will be held off until early 2019. (It's been pointed out that Barclays could be getting mixed up with the AirPods 3, which Bloomberg slates for an 2019 launch. The features mentioned by each firm in its prediction - noise cancellation and water resistance - are naturally complementary.