We’ve been expecting new AirPods for over a year now, and it finally looks like a new model is on the way.
First spotted by MySmartPrice, new AirPods were added to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group regulatory database on November 1, reigniting expectations that we might see new AirPods by the end of the year. According to the listing, the new AirPods go by the hardware version number REV1.1, differing from the original AirPod’s REV1.0 hardware number, suggesting this will be the next generation of AirPods.
The listing reveals the AirPods have passed through the Bluetooth Qualification Process confirming the new model will connect via Bluetooth 5 similar to how the Apple Pencil connects to the iPad. Among the special additions the new pair of AirPods are expected to feature is the new hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality Apple briefly showed off during an introduction video for the iPhone event this past September.
There is some bad news. The new AirPods model listing does not make any mention of the case being upgraded, possibly putting in doubt whether the upgraded AirPods will come with the wireless charging functionality Apple promised back in September 2017. If that turns out to be the case, that will make the upgraded AirPods rather underwhelming.
Regardless, if you are thinking of buying AirPods, you may want to wait a while to see if Apple does end up releasing an upgraded version of the wireless headphones before the end of the year.