The 4 biggest AirPods and Apple TV rumors I want confirmed at WWDC 2023

The date of Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference has finally been announced. The maker of the HomePod 2 confirmed that the show’s opening speech will begin on June 5 at 10am PT/6pm BST.

And while most of the buzz right now is centered around the anticipated launch of Apple’s long-rumored virtual reality/augmented reality headset, it’s me and the What Hi-Fi? The team also anticipates some important TV and audio announcements.

Those are the four biggest.

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)Apple AirPods Max 2

It’s no secret, we loved the original Apple AirPods Max. As we said in our AirPods Max review, Apple’s first over-ears are some of the best wireless headphones we’ve tested, and they offered wonderful sound quality during our testing, especially with Apple Music. So we gave them a perfect 5/5 and even if you’re lucky enough to see my predecessor in the wild, he still usually wears a pair.

But they weren’t “perfect”. One of the biggest annoyances is the fact that they don’t use the more standard USB-C connectivity for charging or wired connections. Not only is the lack of connectivity annoying since most devices use USB-C, it’s also one of the main reasons the Max doesn’t support lossless audio, which is just as bad as Apple Music. With rumors that Apple could switch from Lightning to USB-C in its next iPhone 15 range, the timing would make sense too.

The other minor annoyance we had was not being able to swap out the Max’s headphone strap. That was a key point we’ve been looking forward to, and pre-release rumors suggest it might be. Adding this option would improve the longevity of the AirPods Max 2 and be a win for sustainability.

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That’s why we’re super excited at the prospect of Apple unveiling an updated AirPods Max 2 at WWDC 2023 that fixes these little annoyances. However, we used the word “want” in this capacity due to conflicting reports currently arriving at WWDC. While there are a number of “leaks” that suggest the AirPods Max 2 will be released, there are just as many that suggest we’ll only see new color options for Apple’s existing over-ears at the event and the new one model will follow later this year.

Today’s best Apple Airpods Max deals

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)tvOS 17

An update to Apple’s TV OS software is almost certain at WWDC. The conference always focuses on Apple’s software offering as it is aimed at developers. The main consumer fair, where the new hardware is presented, usually takes place in September.

Check out our Apple TV 4K review and you’ll see that we’re already big fans of the operating system, as it offers a fantastic range of content, top-notch streaming options and compatibility with most HDR standards, as well as Dolby Atmos. Powered Spatial Audio.

But like the first-gen AirPods Max, there are a few things we’d like to add to the software at WWDC 2023. There have been a lot of rumors about 8K streaming, and while that would be good for future-proofing given the lack of 8K, given the content currently on offer, I’d like to add one important, more fundamental thing.

Specifically, why not bring Apple’s new classical music app to tvOS? Considering how many people stream from their Apple TV and how good it can sound when you have a pair of Apple HomePod 2s connected in stereo, that seems like a given in our testing. Check out our TV editor’s take on why he replaced his Sonos Arc with two HomePod 2s, and you’ll see why.

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(Image credit: Future)Apple VR/AR

All of the WWDC press focused on Apple’s possible plans to launch a VR/AR headset. And normally, given our responsibilities at What Hi-Fi? do not treat. for AV and audio.

The reason we included it, however, is that unlike previous headsets from the Vive, Oculus and PlayStation, rumored ahead of the event, Apple’s headset will have as much of a focus on music as it does on gaming.

Specifically, the latest report from Bloomberg indicates that Apple will wear the headset to parties, nightclubs and possibly even live events such as concerts. This caused some head shaking in the What Hi-Fi? team, including me. But the idea is reportedly to offer an experience like a silent disco, or possibly allow musicians to add an altered reality element to their performance, like the immersive experiences we’ve seen on the Oculus Quest.

Whatever the final product, we’ll be curious to see if these pre-launch rumors are true and what concrete uses the headset has in audio and television.

(Image credit: Which Hi-Fi?)AirPods Lite?

The final entry in this list comes with a question mark, as the AirPods Lite are definitely a vision. We’ve heard a ton of rumors suggesting that Apple could follow Google and Samsung’s lead in releasing a cheaper ‘Lite’ version of the AirPods over a year ago, but things have gone quiet since then.

With no concrete rumors or leads, it’s difficult to be specific about what to expect. But considering how well Apple’s latest AirPods performed when we invited them in for testing, we can’t help but get a little excited at the prospect of a more affordable version making its debut at WWDC 2023.

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