Powerbeats Pro 2: everything we know about the rumored true wireless earbuds
Is Apple working on the Beats Powerbeats Pro 2? It certainly looks like it, with a new pair of Beats wireless earbuds making an appearance in an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) filing back in March.
Since then, the rumored Powerbeats Pro 2 have popped up in similar filings around the world, suggesting that a follow-up to the popular Beats Powerbeats Pro is on the cards.
- Update: Could the Powerbeats Pro 2 show up during this year's virtual WWDC 2020 event on Monday, June 22? We'll just have to tune in to find out!
The Beats Powerbeats Pro are among the best true wireless earbuds you can buy, and thanks to their long battery life, good sound quality, and smart design – including venting holes that reduce the pressure the earbuds impart on your ears – they are among the best running headphones, too.
A year on from their launch, and Apple has released the true wireless earbuds in four bright new colors – which could mean that Apple isn't quite ready to launch a second-gen version of the earbuds.
Details of the Powerbeats Pro 2 are scant right now, and without official confirmation from Apple, we can only guess as to details like a release date, specs, and sound quality – and some outlets are even speculating that the FCC filing only relates to minor tweaks to the existing earbuds.
Even so, we've also seen some pretty hefty Powerbeats Pro discounts in recent days, suggesting that Apple could be shifting stock ahead of a release.
Whenever the buds turn up, and whether they're a complete overhaul or a minor tweak to the existing Powerbeats Pro, we've dreamt up a wish list of all the things we'd like to see from the Beats Powerbeats Pro 2.
- Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review
Cut to the chase
- What are they? The Beats Powerbeats Pro 2, a pair of true wireless earbuds
- When will they launch? That's still TBC, but it could be as soon as June 2020
- How much will they cost? Likely similar to their predecessors ($249 / £219 / AU$349)
Powerbeats Pro 2 release date
While Apple hasn't announced a Powerbeats Pro 2 release date – or even confirmed their existence, for that matter – we can hazard a guess as to when we'll see the new Beats earbuds.
It's possible that the new buds will be announced at WWDC 2020, which is set to start on Monday, June 22. We're expecting to see the iOS 14 update in detail, along with upgrades in the form of iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16 and watchOS 7 in the software-focused keynote.
While WWDC is largely a software-based event, it would be an opportune time for Apple to make an announcement of this kind – and with filings with government communications agencies stacking up around the world, we think a release date is likely imminent.
Saying that, we've also heard rumors that the first Apple over-ear headphones, the AirPods Studio will launch at WWDC 2020, and we're not sure that Apple would allow its own headphones to be outshone by a new pair of Beats buds.
If we don't see the Powerbeats Pro 2 in June, the next release window might not be until October. In an FCC filing for what we think are the new earbuds, Apple requested that the FCC withhold external photographs, internal photographs, test setup photographs, and the user manual until October 12, 2020.
That could coincide with the tech giant's annual iPhone unveiling event; while we usually see a new iPhone in September, we wouldn't be surprised if the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the release date back by a month.
Powerbeats Pro 2: what we know so far
In April, Apple filed a new document with the FCC that appears to describe the Powerbeats Pro 2.
The FCC ID BCGA2453 describes ‘totally wireless high-performance earphones’ and corresponds to Apple’s model numbers A2453 and A2454 – though whether those two different model numbers corresponds to two new versions of the Powerbeats Pro remains to be seen.
Unfortunately, Apple requested that the FCC withhold external photographs, internal photographs, test setup photographs and the user manual until October, so it will be awhile before we can confirm our suspicions.
Without photos or documentation there’s not a whole lot of information available inside the brief other than the wireless frequency the earphones will operate on (2.402-2.48 GHz) and some really technical information about the kind of wireless transmitter it will have inside.
Some outlets are reporting that the FCC filing describes "a minor tweak" to the Powerbeats Pro, rather than a truly new model – perhaps in a similar vein to the AirPods (2019), which replaced the 2016 AirPods, or even as a mere software update.
MacRumors believes the filing represents "a minor internal tweak to the existing models that will soon be or has already been quietly released without any announcement or changes to public-facing specs".
So, it could be that newer Powerbeats Pro models have been given a few adjustments without any announcement from Apple. MacRumors says that, "if you've recently purchased Powerbeats Pro, you can check the fine print on the inside of each earpiece" to see whether they correspond with the new A2453/A2454 model numbers.
Whether the FCC filing relates to a brand new model or some minor tweaks remains to be seen. In the meantime, we've put together a wish list of all the things we would want to see if the Powerbeats Pro 2 actually materialize.
Can't wait to find out? We've gathered the best Powerbeats Pro prices below, so you can get your hands on the original true wireless earbuds.
Powerbeats Pro 2: what we want to see
While we were big fans of the original Powerbeats Pro, there are a few features we'd like to see in their successors.
This was a pretty big omission from the Powerbeats Pro, which were only able to offer limited noise isolation without active noise cancelling technology built in. We'd like to see Apple take a leaf out of the AirPods Pro's book, and give users the chance to block out annoying environmental sounds at the tap of a touch-sensitive housing.
The Powerbeats Pro shook off Beats' reputation for overly bassy audio, offering a more neutral sound profile. While we liked the sound quality offered by the original buds, we were disappointed that Apple didn't provide any way to alter the EQ settings, either via an app or through a series of preset sound profiles. An accompanying app with a customizable EQ would give Powerbeats Pro 2 users the option to really personalize the sound of their buds, tweaking the bass, mids, and trebles exactly to their liking.
A higher IP rating
The IPX4 waterproof rating offered by the Powerbeats Pro was fine, but we think Apple could do better with the next generation. An IPX4-rating means the original Powerbeats Pro could take a bit of sweat, maybe an accidental splash from a water bottle or someone jumping in the pool, but imagine how great it would be if you could take them swimming?
Sleeker charging case
The charging case for the original Powerbeats Pro was a little bulky in our opinion; we'd love to see something sleeker for the Powerbeats Pro 2. A slim case is especially important for use while working out, as shorts and running leggings don't always come with deep pockets to stuff all your gadgets into.
Longer battery life
The Powerbeats Pro have a great battery life as it is – but we'd like to see Apple push the boat out with its second gen model, perhaps taking a cue from the affordable and incredibly long-lasting Lypertek Tevi.
- There are lots of rumored Apple headphones on the horizon. Check out our dedicated guides to the Apple AirPods 3, the AirPods Pro Lite, and the over-ear Apple AirPods X.