The next AirPods Pro could be almost upon us. The updated earbuds will not be called AirPods Pro 2, but, much more likely, AirPods Pro second generation. We don’t know what they’ll look like exactly—there have been rumors but no images have leaked—but we may just have learned something about how they’ll be better than the current earbuds. It doubles down on a leak earlier this year which predicted a change that could transform performance in the next release.
According to a listing in a Bluetooth products database, spotted by Joe Rossignol at MacRumors, the next earbuds could have significantly improved audio.
That would be great. The current AirPods Pro already sound terrific and have really top-notch noise-cancelling. But the filing in the database lists improved Bluetooth, listing it as Bluetooth 5.3 which, for reasons I frankly can’t fathom, apparently means Bluetooth 5.2. It seems it’s not uncommon for Apple’s listings to be higher than what ends up on the headphones in the end.
The point is, it’s more advanced than current AirPods Pro earbuds can manage and indicates Apple could be building LE Audio support into the next in-ears.
Which means what, exactly?
LE Audio support brings several benefits. First, according to the brilliant Jon Porter at The Verge, it includes LC3 which stands for Low Complexity Communication Codec. It’s meant to be much more efficient, allowing higher audio quality at the same bit rate or slightly better audio at under half the bit rate, which turns into longer battery life.
There are other benefits with LE Audio, including the capability to connect multiple pairs of AirPods to one iPhone. Additionally, it’s possible for each AirPod, left and right, to have its own Bluetooth connection to guard against the audio becoming desynchronized.
Will this be in the next AirPods? It’s not certain, but it’s worth noting that some of Apple’s other earbuds, like the Beats Studio Buds, may already be capable of supporting this. In which case, it may take a firmware upgrade to improve the audio quality in those headphones.
In short, the future for the next Apple earbuds looks very promising, and we may see them released in just a matter of days.