Every now and then we have rumors about the second-generation AirPods Pro, but notice how little we know about an upcoming AirPods Max 2. Apart from new colors that were rumored for this generation – and never made the cut – there’s nothing else to say about the company’s premium headphones. Here’s why AirPods Max 2 existence depends on Apple launching an even better second-generation AirPods Pro.

There are two key rumors about AirPods Pro 2 that – if true – will show whether Apple ever plans to release a second-generation AirPods Max. The first one is Lossless support. Here’s what analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote back in January:

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. We are optimistic about the demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate shipments will reach 18–20mn units in 2022.

This is interesting because AirPods’ creator addressed the limitations of Bluetooth in an interview in 2021. Gary Geaves, Apple’s VP of Acoustics, has said that Apple would really like a wireless standard that allows for more bandwidth. 

“Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about,” he says, “but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximize or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth. But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth”, he smiles.

The second key feature that’s rumored for AirPods Pro 2 is a new health-tracking function. A study made by Apple shows how AirPods could be used to monitor respiratory rate. Here’s what we wrote about it:

In the research, Apple and Cornell researchers used a model-driven technology to estimate a person’s respiratory rate using short audio segments obtained after physical exertion in healthy adults. Data was collected from 21 individuals using microphone-enabled, near-field headphones before, during, and after strenuous exercise.

How does second-gen AirPods Pro impacts possible AirPods Max 2?

While I don’t think Apple will offer a new design for the AirPods Max 2 – or even a new smart case – I do think if the headphone offered Lossless support and new health-tracking features, it would be enough for the company to release a second version.

When Apple announced Lossless support and Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio, there was a serious controversy, because even wired with the Apple-exclusive Lightning to 3.5 mm Audio Cable, AirPods Max can’t stream true lossless. If Apple is able to address that with a new chip or bandwidth format, this would be huge.

In addition, health-tracking features would also be interesting. For example, an indie developer just released an app that tells whether your posture is good using AirPods’ sensors.

Former 9to5Mac Parker Ortolani and I imagined what would be Apple’s take on a new AirPods Max 2, as you can see here, but thinking about these two key features, I strongly believe the existence of this headphone depends on AirPods Pro 2 also featuring them.

Does it make sense? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

Got tips, feedback, or questions? jose@9to5mac.com