Apple Inc. announced the first update to its AirPods Pro earbuds since the high-end product first went on sale in October 2019, adding improved audio quality and a redesigned carrying case.
The new model, which keeps the $249 price of the previous generation, offers crisper audio and the H2 wireless chip, Apple said during a presentation Wednesday. The new earbuds also include an updated carrying case with speaker holes that can make a noise to help customers find the device.
AirPods have become an increasingly critical part of Apple’s Wearables, Home and Accessories category, which brought in about $8 billion in revenue last quarter. The Pro models offer active noise cancelation, giving consumers a reason to pay up for the higher-end version. The other models cost $129 and $179, with an over-ear headphones version — AirPods Max — costing $549.
The first AirPods launched in 2016, part of an expansion into audio accessories that also included the HomePod mini speaker. The company is also working on a more advanced, larger home speaker for release next year, Bloomberg News has reported.
Bloomberg News first reported on the plans for the AirPods Pro upgrade in May 2021.
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