Rumored Apple AirPods 2019 Release Date, Plus StudioPods & AirPower Rumors

Good news for everyone who was disapointed when Apple's fall 2018 events came and went without the announcement of AirPods 2, the AirPower Charging Mat, or a new set of over-ear headphones, potentially called Studio Pods: We may be getting at least one, maybe two of those devices very soon. The latest rumors point to an Apple AirPods 2 release date. The rumors of an accompanying wireless charging enabled AirPod case, indicate that Apple may finally be ready to release the promised AirPower Charging Mat as well. 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.  

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

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AirPods Wireless Charging Case & AirPower Mat

 

airpods case 

Ok, this one isn't a rumor, although it's starting to feel like one. 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." (Spoiler: we did not, in fact, get an AirPods charging case in 2018.) When it is released, 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 finally be released when the AirPods 2 are released in early 2019? 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. According to the latest Apple rumors, it's looking more and more likely that the AirPods 2 will have a new, improved wireless chip that will make it possible to use Hey Siri with the AirPods update. 

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 besides Hey Siri 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?

Are the New AirPods 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 (Mfi) 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 Apple rumors, apparently so, and we're hoping that 2019 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 & AirPods 2 Release Date: The Wait Continues

In June 2018, rumors began circulating that an over-ear headphone version of the AirPods, to be called StudioPods, wouldn't be released until 2019. At least part of that rumor has proven to be true; it's now 2019 and we still don't know when the StudioPods will be released. If such a product even exists. The release of Apple AirPods 2 seems much more certain, likely some time in the next few months. Although anyone familiar with the timing of previous Apple release dates understands that Apple has been know to consider any time up to June to be early in the year.  

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.