A new report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman(opens in a new tab) details several new features that might appear in a future iteration of Apple’s wireless earbuds.
According to the report, Apple is working on a feature that could test the wearer’s hearing health by playing different tones and sounds. The feature could be similar to how Apple Watch’s ECG feature checks for heart problems. Third-party apps that perform a similar hearing test, such as Mimi(opens in a new tab), already exist, and Apple reportedly had a meeting with the app’s developers a few years ago.
Apple is also thinking about introducing a feature that could determine the wearer’s body temperature by measuring the temperature in their ear canal. Apple can already do this on the newer Apple Watch models, but the temperature data gathered with the AirPods Pro could be more accurate.
It’s unclear when these features, some of which we’ve heard about before, are coming. Apple refreshed its AirPods Pro in 2022, after launching the original in 2019, implying a three-year upgrade cycle.
We could see one other improvement: Apple is reportedly planning to switch the Lightning port on the AirPods’ charging case with the near-ubiquitous USB-C port (in Mashable’s review, we saw the absence of the USB-C port on the AirPods Pro as one of the rare downsides). Apple is expected to ship the iPhone 15 with a USB-C port as well (in part thanks to EU’s regulations), and it makes sense to do away with the Lightning port on the AirPods as well. It’s unclear whether this change could happen sooner than the other planned new features.
Finally, Gurman says that the AirPods will be important in relation to Apple’s recently launched AR headset, the Vision Pro. The headset has built-in speakers, but you should be able to pair them with the AirPods Pro for a more immersive (and more private) experience.