'AirPods Pro 2' may act as hearing aids & have improved charging case

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 24
Alleged leaked information suggests significant changes are coming to the upcoming "AirPods Pro 2" with health features and improved Find My support.

AirPods Pro 2 may not have a radical redesign like previously rumored
AirPods Pro 2 may not have a radical redesign like previously rumored


The second generation of AirPods Pro have been long coming, and rumors are cycling around minimal external updates. The latest leak corroborates minimal aesthetic changes but several new functions and an updated charging case.

According to 52Audio, the "AirPods Pro 2" will have an updated H1 processor, health functions like heart rate detection, and a strange new microphone in the charging case. The information appears to be from internal sources, and the included images are renders based on the information at hand.

They refer to the new processor as an H1 chip, which is what is already in the AirPods Pro. It isn't clear if Apple will call it H1 or H2, but it is a more powerful System in Package chip.

Alleged new features include heart rate detection, hearing aid functionality, and improved audio. The charging case gets USB-C in place of Lightning, speakers for Find My, and a microphone for the hearing aid function.

AirPods Pro 2 render from 52audio show no aesthetic changes
AirPods Pro 2 render from 52audio show no aesthetic changes


The design in the shared images appears unchanged, with the leak suggesting all of the changes are internal. The heart rate sensor may also be able to collect temperature data, but that isn't confirmed.

The MagSafe Charging Case may get microphones on the right side for ambient audio collection and hearing aid use. The audio collected by the case is transmitted to the earbuds for processing and enhancement and presumably be used for a speaking microphone when talking to a hard-of-hearing user.

The cutout in the right side is a microphone. Image source: 52audio
The cutout in the right side is a microphone. Image source: 52audio


The speaker at the bottom of the charging case can emit sound for Find My. This is similar to AirTag and can help users find a lost case that is just out of sight.

These new details from 52audio seem to corroborate design details and previous health-related rumors, but the source doesn't have a long history in Apple leaks. The publication previously leaked images of the AirPods 3, which proved accurate, so time will tell if this latest leak also holds true.

Previous rumors have suggested health updates and a more radical redesign without a stem. If Apple intends on releasing the new AirPods Pro in the fall, then the design and feature set is in place, and leaks will likely get more accurate.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Apple is sneaky. A few years ago they released hearing aids when they partnered with a company(don’t remember the name). They’ve been testing the market for a while. I remember thinking gen 1 AirPods would make good hearing aids. 
  • Reply 2 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,497member
    The hearing aid Market definitely needs a shake up.  The price of hearing aids is outrageous for what they are. And old people like my father have trouble using them. I fear losing my hearing.

    AirPods are a tad large for the purpose of hearing aids.  A kludge setup where it needs the case to pick up the sounds means it will only help normal hearing people in noisy environments. It would not be intended as an actual hearing aid. A real hearing aid would also require all day battery life.

    I would prefer Apple enter the market properly with a dedicated hearing aid. At the very least functionality in hearing aids would be improved, and prices would fall.  

    Apple can be a very good disrupter of established health markets. My wife, a speechie, works in rehab for people that have had strokes or head injuries. Before iPad people would use a heavy (laptop weight), thick windows XP tablet that had a battery that would last about two hours and needed a harness for many patients to use, combined with expensive tile based software. The overall package was AUD$15-20,000 (About USD$10-15,000). The iPad changed all that. Suddenly you could do the same in a light tablet with a very easy to use interface and much cheaper software (which for iPad software still very expensive, but worth it). Overall the package was less than $1000. The only impediment to massive uptake being Health Department IT.

    I have often thought Apple could do the same with hearing.


    edited June 24
  • Reply 3 of 9
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 628member
    Beats said:
    Apple is sneaky. A few years ago they released hearing aids when they partnered with a company(don’t remember the name). They’ve been testing the market for a while. I remember thinking gen 1 AirPods would make good hearing aids. 
    Apple is not sneaky, technology is sneaky it’s forever changing. Apple simply adapts to changing technologies.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    I can’t use these because they don’t stay in my ears. I skipped the original AirPods because I knew for sure they wouldn’t stay in my ears but I gave the AirPods Pro a shot. The only ear bud speakers that I have ever had success with are ones with the triple flange sleeves and I know for sure that Apple will not have that type. The only company that I know of that has them is Shure.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 9
    cg27cg27 Posts: 170member
    AirPod case with microphone??  Doubt it.

    Would be much better to use AppleWatch microphone since it’s already on your wrist and thus wouldn’t have to fumble holding a case; and/or iPhone microphone.

    And with AW user could adjust volume or gain simply by turning the crown without looking away and breaking eye contact.

    Apple will remove any perceived stigma of wearing hearing aids and make them fashionable like eye glass frames.

    This of course will coincide with the new FDA allowance for over the counter hearing aids.

    I expect to eventually see a lot more people walking around with AirPods in their ears all day.  And they’ll have a spare set fully charged to swap out.  Two sets of AirPod Pros are much less expensive than most, if not all, current hearing aids.  Even three sets of AirPods may become normal so as to never run the risk of being without.  And still cheaper.
    edited June 24
  • Reply 6 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Beats said:
    Apple is sneaky. A few years ago they released hearing aids when they partnered with a company(don’t remember the name). They’ve been testing the market for a while. I remember thinking gen 1 AirPods would make good hearing aids. 
    Apple is not sneaky, technology is sneaky it’s forever changing. Apple simply adapts to changing technologies.

    Nah Apple is sneaky. Which is why iPhone mock-ups were way off before the invention was revealed. Which is why people got the Apple Watch design wrong and why Apple is already in the hearing aid market and no one in this thread has noticed.



    h4y3s
  • Reply 7 of 9
    h4y3sh4y3s Posts: 65member
    Yes, Apple is crafty. They build on "Use Cases" and that mic is for the "having coffee in a noisy shop" where the user can just push their AirPod case up under the chin of the speaking person and pick up a cleaner signal of their voice.  
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 190member
    If this is the case you are reading it here first of someone suing Apple because they were at a concert or construction site and they forgot to turn off the hearing aid aspect and it destroyed their ear drums. Just like I mentioned about Air Tags being used by stalkers before Air Tags were released…
    macgui
  • Reply 9 of 9
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,156member
    Fred257 said:
    If this is the case you are reading it here first... Just like I mentioned about Air Tags being used by stalkers before Air Tags were released…
    Nobody cares. You are hereby awarded the Captain Obvious Dunce Cap for your original unique and never before considered predictions. Not revelations, signifying nothing.

    cg27 said:
    AirPod case with microphone??  Doubt it.

    Would be much better to use AppleWatch microphone since it’s already on your wrist and thus wouldn’t have to fumble holding a case; and/or iPhone microphone.
    Probably no mic in an AirPod case because it would need to have a BT radio in the case as well, and that would bump the cost up significantly. It would still be cheaper than proper hearing aids. 

    Having a mic in the case makes it convenient to place the case on a table, just as can be done with an iPhone so the person wearing AirPods can hear better – Live Listen? The Watch already has a mic and BT but placing your wrist where it can capture audio with Live Listen could get awkward. 

    I can’t use these because they don’t stay in my ears. I skipped the original AirPods because I knew for sure they wouldn’t stay in my ears but I gave the AirPods Pro a shot. The only ear bud speakers that I have ever had success with are ones with the triple flange sleeves and I know for sure that Apple will not have that type. The only company that I know of that has them is Shure.
    The only AirPods that stay in my ears are the Gen1/2 AirPods. The triple flange tips are used by a number of IEC manufacturers (Etymotic for one) but those don't work for me either. Shure makes memory foam tips that work great. Eartips from third-party foam manufacturers don't work nearly as well for me.

    A number of manufacturers are making various eartips for AirPods Pro but I just haven't wanted to do trial and error work to see if I could find a good fit.
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