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Apple AirPods 2 to arrive in first half of 2019 with 'health monitoring' features?

Apple’s next-gen AirPods could arrive in the first half of this year and feature  ‘health monitoring functions’, as reported by Digitimes (via 9to5Mac).

The rather vague suggestion, mentioned in a larger report on wearable growth for 2019, doesn’t cite any sources or shed light on any other product details, though.

Still, while we’ll take the rumour with a pinch of salt then, it has us hopeful that the AirPods 2 will a) arrive sooner rather than later this year, and b) integrate an interesting activity-based tracking feature or two.

We do wonder where Apple could go here. Given the minute size of the originals (and their battery), it’s unlikely a heart-rate monitor would be included. And as the Apple Watch features an accelerator for identifying body movement, integrating the same functionality into the AirPods would arguably be pointless, too - or at least, now, anti-climatic.

Ultimately, an improvement in sound quality is at the top of our wish list for second-gen variants. The AirPods sound average at best, lacking the detail and dynamic subtlety to truly satisfy.

New rumours also suggest that production of the wireless charger (which allows for the simultaneous charging of the iPhone, Watch and AirPods) has now started, a year after Apple first announced it.

So perhaps the next AirPods will arrive alongside Apple’s long-awaited AirPower charging mat.

MORE: 

13 truly wireless alternatives to the Apple AirPods

Apple to ditch LCD for OLED on all iPhones from 2020

Best true wireless earbuds: budget and premium

 

Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.