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AirPods 2: significant upgrade coming this Spring

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AirPods, Apple’s wireless earbuds, have been a real sleeper hit since their release in 2016. Last year showed a 500% year-on-year increase in sales as the world went AirPods crazy, embracing the fact that the tiny in-ear headphones are one of the best accessories Apple has made in years.

We’ve suspected for a while that a sequel was due soon – and now, according to a report citing “trusted sources,” we don’t have much longer to wait for an upgrade. AirPods 2 are expected sometime this Spring, with a suite of minor improvements to justify a $40 price hike.

So what changes should we expect, exactly?

Considering AirPods have become something of a fashion accessory in some circles, its no surprise to see another color option thrown into the mix. AirPods 2 will be available in black in addition to the classic white finish of the first-gen ‘pods. Aside from color, though, the overall shape and size will remain identical to the existing model.

However, that doesn’t mean there are no design improvements to speak of – the report says that AirPods 2 will include a specialized coating along the top for better in-ear grip, as well as better bass response for a fuller sound, and tiny heart rate sensors built into each pod. Battery life is expected to remain the same despite these changes, and there’s no mention of the waterproofing that was vaguely rumored a year ago.

Apparently, Apple considers all that to be worth a 25% price increase, with AirPods 2 expected to retail at $199. First-generation AirPods currently sell for $159 – it’s unclear if these will remain in the line-up at a lower price, or if Apple will drop manufacturing them entirely to focus on the new version.

If you’ve not tried AirPods before and are wondering what all the fuss is about, see our brief guide to AirPods for the lowdown on some of their best features.