Apple is working on the next AirPods Pro, which will be released alongside the iPhone 15 lineup this autumn. The next-gen AirPods promise significant upgrades, including built-in health features and enhanced connectivity.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple will introduce a USB-C charging case for the AirPods Pro. The move aligns with Apple's transition from the Lightning port to the more widely adopted USB-C standard, which complies with the EU's new common charging standard.
One of the notable new health features is a built-in hearing test function. The new earbuds can play different tones and sounds to assess a user's hearing health. This feature allows users to assess their hearing directly from AirPods, making it more convenient.
The company is working on a new hearing test feature that will play different tones and sounds to allow the AirPods to determine how well a person can hear. The idea is to help users screen for hearing issues, not unlike how the Apple Watch ECG app checks for heart problems.
Gurman says Apple is also looking to take advantage of the recent FDA approval for over-the-counter sales of hearing aids without needing an exam or prescription. With this approval in mind, Apple is exploring using AirPods Pro as an alternative to hearing aids.
With engineers at established hearing aid manufacturers, it is working to expand the functionality of its earbuds to provide hearing aid capabilities.
In addition to hearing-focused features, the next-gen AirPods are expected to include a built-in temperature sensor. This sensor, similar to the one introduced in the Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra, will allow users to accurately measure their body temperature using the ear canal.
However, Gurman emphasizes that these functions may take "several months or even years" to become available to users.
On the other hand, some notable features of the AirPods Pro include the addition of Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation. The product comprises an H2 chip, longer battery life, Touch Control, and immersive Spatial Audio.