Apple AirPods 2, StudioPods & AirPower: Rumored Release Date, Colors, Charging Case, Pricing

***Apple has announced the details of the October event; October 30, 9:00 a.m EST, in Brooklyn, NY. Read our article about the invitations for more details!***

The September 12 Apple event came and went without the announcement of three highly anticipated devices: the AirPods 2, the AirPower Charging Mat, and a new set of over-ear headphones, potentially called Studio Pods. Now there are rumors of an October event, where it's anticipated a new iPad Pro will be unveiled, but we are also hoping for more new hardware announcements. In this rumor roundup, we'll cover every update about the new rumored new wireless earbuds and wireless charging case, as well as Studio Pods and AirPower related rumors leading up to the big announcement. Read on to discover the buzz around the internet and to find out if the upgrades you've been hoping for will be released in October. 

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Related: New iPad Rumors: Release Date, Specs & More post WWDC 2018

AirPods Wireless Charging Case & AirPower Mat

 

airpods case 

Ok, this one isn't a rumor, Apple announced in September 2017 that a wireless charging case for AirPods is coming, although it didn't specify a release date other than "coming in 2018." The new AirPods wireless charging case will almost certainly be released at the same time as Apple's wireless charging mat, the AirPower, also announced at the September 2017 event. I'm going with the assumption that the wireless charging cases will be optional, and that Apple will continue including the standard, plug-in charging cases with the AirPods themselves. Will these two charging devices be announced at an October event? We'll know soon!

AirPods 2: What Can We Expect When They're Finally Released?

airpods case

Touchless Siri Function?

AirPods owners can currently interact with Siri by double-tapping either AirPod; no need to even touch the iPhone. Siri can then help with a range of tasks, including making a phone call, changing volume level, offering directions, or switching music and other audio programming. Will the AirPods 2 have the capability to engage Siri with only a voice command? HomePod owners can interact with Siri through voice-only control, so why not AirPods users? 

Upgraded Wireless Chip?

AirPods in their current version incorporate Apple's W1 chip to detect when the AirPods are in your ears (one or both), route audio, engage the microphone, and manage battery life. Will the AirPods 2 utilize a W2 chip and, if so, what new capabilities will it convey? Even longer battery life? Bluetooth 5.0 capability? I'm interested to find out!  

AirPods Colors: Black AirPods, Perhaps?

One color option is not enough for those of us who prefer black, Space Gray, or even the flashy Rose Gold. Will the AirPods 2 come with one or more color choices, or stick with the standard white?

Water Resistant or Even Waterproof?

A feature I'd love to see in AirPods 2 is water resistance, or better yet, completely waterproofed. AirPods have held up to moisture exposure pretty well in the wild, but are not guaranteed to be water resistant. And accidents and sweaty workouts happen, so it would be great not to feel so concerned about a few splashes of rain or, perhaps, coffee. My guess is that we could see water resistant AirPods with the second version, but complete waterproofing may be a feature for AirPods 3.

Remote Microphone/Hearing Aid with Live Listen

Live Listen is a feature that allows your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to sync with your set of made for iPhone hearing aids and function as a remote microphone. This is a wonderful feature for people with mild hearing impairments, and it looks as though it will be available for the AirPods 2. 

Health Tracking Features

The new Apple Watch Series 4 has some excellent health-monitoring capabilities, including an ECG function, heart-rate monitoring, and even fall detection. With Apple's emphasis on health and safety, it wouldn't be surprising to see similar features incorporated into their latest wireless earbuds.

AirPods 2, Wireless Charging Case & AirPower Charging Mat Pricing, What Can We Expect?

Let's talk turkey; how much will the AirPods 2 and the new wireless charging case cost? AirPods currently ring in at $159, and Apple may push that price point up for the next version. I'd guess the AirPods 2 will cost in the range of $179–$199. A plug-in replacement case for AirPods currently costs $69, so I'd bet that the wireless version will cost at least a bit more, say $89.

As for the AirPower charging mat, my best guess is that it will cost about $199. After all, a single-device wireless charger on the Apple website costs $59.95, while a similar charger for an Apple Watch costs $79. $199 for a mat that charges three devices simultaneously is still less expensive than purchasing three of the single chargers separately. 

StudioPods: Is Apple Giving Us Over-the-Ear AirPods?

beats by dre blue

Apple already owns the Beats by Dre brand, so does it need a high-end headphone brand of its own, as well? According to the latest rumors, apparently so, and we're hoping that 2018 is the year we see StudioPods released to the rejoicing of audiophiles everywhere. Noise-cancelling, over-the-ear headphones are rumored to have been in the development phase for over a year now, featuring improved audio quality (compared to the in-ear counterpart, AirPods.) StudioPods are also rumored to include AirPod and HomePod tech. What will that mean for users? Well, for one thing, it would mean having a wireless headset that's fully integrated into the Apple ecosystem, allowing users to talk to Siri, control their iOS devices, and have the over-the-ear privacy of headphones all while remaining hands-free. 

How Much Will Apple Studio Pods Cost?

StudioPods will be a higher-end offering than AirPods since they're expected to feature higher audio quality. If the current price for Beats by Dre, Beats Studio3 Wireless at $349.95, is any indication, we can expect StudioPods to cost between $299 and $399, if not slightly more.

StudioPods and AirPods 2 Release Date: The Wait Continues

In June, rumors began circulating that an over-ear headphone version of the AirPods, to be called StudioPods, won't be released until 2019. We won't know for sure until the October announcement, but if the StudioPods are delayed until next year, we assume it will be because Apple is still working out some kinks. We also recently heard that Apple will not be releasing AirPods 2 in October, since sales on AirPods are still so high that there might not be a reason to release a new version at this point. Maybe next year, as sales begin to dwindle, we'll see a release of the AirPods 2 in order to push sales. For now, we might have to wait on the next iteration of AirPods. 

What do You Think?

Do you have predictions for the new AirPods, AirPower charging mat, or StudioPods? What features would you like to see most, and do you plan on buying any of Apple's new tech? Let me know in the comments!

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Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.