AirPods 2 & StudioPods Rumor Roundup: Features, Release Date, Price, More

In its 2018 Q1 earnings report, Apple announced that its Other Products category, which includes the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones, had grown 70 percent in sales as compared to the same quarter the previous year. AirPods, in particular, saw such high demand over the 2017 holiday season that by early December the Bluetooth earbuds had sold out in brick-and-mortar stores and online. Shoppers had to wait for their backordered AirPods until January 2018, and Apple wisely chose to ramp up production. With this level of success, it's no wonder that Apple is expected to roll out AirPods 2 before year's end. Let's talk about all the rumors surrounding Apple's next AirPods release, and dig into another possible launch: a pair of very sweet over-ear headphones called StudioPods. 

Related: Apple Goes after the Education Market with Lower-Priced iPad & New Education Apps

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Wireless Charging Case

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 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.

AirPods 2 Rumored Features

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 command, 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!  

Black AirPods?

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?

A feature I'd love to see in AirPods 2 is water resistance. 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. 

StudioPods: Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones for 2018?

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. My best guess is that StudioPods will be announced at WWDC and released during Apple's usual September event. This way, Apple can maximize holiday sales and also create a back-to-school sensation.

How Much Will the New Apple Products Cost?

airpods wireless charging case

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, our best educated 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 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.

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 purse 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.