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AirPods Pro 2 to reportedly sport lossless audio support, sound-emitting charging case

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects new wireless earbuds to arrive in the fourth quarter.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The next generation of Apple's AirPods Pro will feature support for lossless audio and come with a charging case that can emit a sound to make locating a misplaced case easier, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Sunday in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider and 9to5Mac.

Apple hasn't updated the AirPods Pro since they launched in 2019, but a new version of the wireless earbuds with a refreshed design and other upgrades could debut later this year, if reports turn out to be true.

"We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2 in 4Q22 with new selling points, including a new form factor design, support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) format, and a charging case that can emit a sound for users to track," Kuo wrote. "We are optimistic about the demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate shipments will reach 18-20mn units in 2022."

Lossless audio support will be music to the ears of many Apple fans. Lossless audio compression retains every single bit of detail from the original recording while still reducing file sizes considerably, and Apple's Lossless format has a loyal following among iPod and iPhone users, although a new format could be in the offing as well.

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Kuo also seemed to lend more credence to reports that Apple is looking to bring health features to its AirPods, including enhanced hearing, body temperature readings and posture monitoring. "AirPods may support health management functions in the future," Kuo said.

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Apple might bring a thermometer and blood pressure tool to a future Apple Watch and is also looking at how to use the iPhone to detect depression and cognitive decline.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.