According to fresh results based on supposed leaked photographs released by MacRumors last year, the AirPods Pro 2 could have a similar shape to the present model, despite speculations of a “stemless” design.
About the AirPods Pro 2
Last year, MacRumors published photographs ostensibly unveiling the second generation “AirPods Pro,” which appeared to display a design with minor changes. New full-scale 3D comparisons based on MacRumorsImages from Apple concept graphic artist Ian Zelbo provide even more proof that the second-generation AirPods Pro will not have a “stem” design.
The supposed second-generation AirPods Pro headphones do not include downward-facing IR sensors to determine when they are in a user’s ears, according to last year’s photos, but the latest 3D comparisons viewed by MacRumors strongly suggest that the upcoming AirPods Pro will include skin recognition sensors.
About the Skin Sensing Sensors
The third-generation AirPods introduced Apple’s skin-sensing sensors, which provide a more accurate way to determine if the earbuds are in the user’s ears rather than in a pocket or on a table. The sensors monitor the amount of water in the wearer’s skin, ensuring that other surfaces aren’t mistaken for meat.
The latest AirPods Pro uses dual optical sensors to detect if they are in a user’s ear instead of skin-sensing sensors in each earbud. Optical sensors can tell when they are against a surface or covered, rather than when they are particularly against the skin, even though they perform the same purpose.
This means that putting these headphones in a pocket or on a surface may cause playing to be resumed by accident. This is why Apple has turned to skin-sensing sensors, which have the added benefit of requiring only a slightly larger core sensor per earpiece.
Second Generation AirPods
According to Zelbo’s scale comparisons, supposed second-generation AirPods Pro pictures show skin-sensing sensors the same size and position as third-generation AirPods. The main IR sensor is part of a long thin black rectangle that also has a grille of the same form as the current iteration of AirPods Pro.
The new skin-sensing sensor cutout, which is expected to be seen on second-generation AirPods Pro, as well as third-generation AirPods, is shorter and substantially thicker, with a circular grille.
This little but important element could indicate that the images are more believable than previously assumed, making it more likely that the second-generation AirPods Pro will not be redesigned. In reality, Zelbo’s findings imply that, except for the cutout for the skin-sensing sensor, the new earphone’s design is similar to the current generation “AirPods Pro,” with no modifications to the length of the stem or the form of the in-ear region of the ear.
About the Images
The notion that the second generation AirPods Pro will adopt a “stemless” design has gained traction, but trustworthy sources have not expressly said that this will be the case.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for example, believes the second-generation AirPods Pro would have a “new form factor design,” presumably due to knowledge of some sort of restructuring, but did not directly state that they will be stemless.
In October 2020, as per the sources, Apple was working on making the second-generation AirPods Pro earbuds more portable by removing the short stem that presently stretches from the bottom, as well as experimenting with a design with a more rounded shape that occupies more of a user’s ear, bringing them closer in style to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and designs from Amazon and Google.
However, according to sources, Apple is having difficulty combining the AirPods Pro’s gear, which includes antennae and microphones, into a much smaller casing, which could lead to a less ambitious design when the product is finished.
From other sources, we also got to know that it also appears to have backed up other features of MacRumors’ second-generation AirPods Pro pictures, perhaps bolstering their veracity. The second generation AirPods Pro will come with a charging case from which customers can trigger a sound to identify its location, allowing the earphones and case to be placed independently, according to Kuo earlier this year.
This corresponds to the speaker holes visible in MacRumors’ photographs of the charging case. This sound-making charging case is expected to be integrated into the Find My app, similar to how customers may produce a sound from their AirPods within the case to help them find them.
As a result, based on the information we obtained from the sources, it’s far from clear that the second generation AirPods Pro will have a stemless design. Indeed, there appears to be a growing body of data indicating the contrary.
Apple and Stem Design
The Beats Studio Buds, which share a lot of technology with the AirPods Pro, are completely in-ear and don’t have any “stems” at all. The fact that the Beats Studio Buds are “stemless” does not mean that the AirPods Pro will be as well; Apple frequently looks for methods to separate its Beats and AirPods product lines.
With the “stem” design and use of white plastic, Apple has created a unique and instantly recognizable visual brand for AirPods, and it’s unclear if the company is ready to depart from that yet, let alone the impact of removing the stem on the application of force sensor controls and beam-forming microphones.