Second-gen Apple Vision Pro leak claims design changes aplenty, but it’s still years away from release

Key Takeaways

  • Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro 2 mixed reality headset could have changes in its physical design, including speakers with flat temples and simpler straps resembling those on laptop bags.
  • The new headset aims to be cheaper to produce and more affordable for customers, but it remains to be seen if the design changes will impact the headset’s comfort and stability.
  • The Vision Pro 2 will feature various sensors, including cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, and microLED displays, as well as advanced features like a TrueDepth camera and low-light infrared illuminators. It is expected to enter product validation testing in 2025, with a launch in late 2025 or early 2026.

Apple hasn’t yet confirmed exactly when the Vision Pro mixed reality headset will go on sale beyond a suspiciously vague “early 2024” timeframe, but the leaks surrounding what comes next have already started to flow. The first headset will have aspects of both AR and VR, and while the second is sure to build on that it’s the overall physical design of the headset itself that is starting to leak – and it seems that changes are afoot.

Most people have yet to get their hands on Apple’s headset with the company being supremely careful about who it lets use one, and there are no videos of the headset available that haven’t come from Apple. But the company hasn’t been quite as successful in keeping its future plans quiet with a new leak apparently coming from a previously accurate source, and they claim that Apple has some fundamental changes in store for what is tentatively being called Vision Pro 2. Inside Apple, it’s known as Project Alaska or the somewhat less exotic N109.

Audio and headband changes are rumoured

The leak comes via MacRumors report which obviously doesn’t name its source or why they would know what Apple’s plans are. But the outlet does seem confident in its reporting, so we’ll take everything at face value until told otherwise. And the information that’s forthcoming makes for interesting reading.

That information starts with the suggestion that the overall design of the Vision Pro 2 headset will be similar to that of the first iteration – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t changes to be found. That starts with the speaker design, with the leak claiming that early plans for the second-generation AR/VR headset “do not include the rounded areas that house the speakers on the first-generation model. Instead, the headset features temples that are flat and uniform throughout their entire length.”

Apple Vision Pro - 23

The report continues, adding that an external speaker is also mentioned in Vision Pro 2 documentation while “at one point in development, there were two different design configurations for the top vents – one being the same as the vents on the first-generation ‌Apple Vision Pro‌, and the latter featuring two clusters of tiny speaker-type holes.”

Moving around the back of the headset the report also claims that there will be changes to the complex straps that hold the Vision Pro 2 onto the wearer’s head. It’s thought that the second-gen headset will feature straps that are “simpler in design and appearance, being somewhat reminiscent of the flat straps commonly found on laptop bags or backpacks.” It’s thought that Apple’s aim here is to make the headset cheaper to make and, as a result, cheaper for customers to buy. However, the Vision Pro’s strap was one of the aspects that early hands-on reviews mentioned as being particularly good at holding the headset in place and reducing the feel of heft, so it’ll be interesting to see if Apple’s design change negatively impacts those aspects.

In terms of sensors, it appears that the Vision Pro 2 will have pretty much what you’d expect including various cameras and sensors. Connectivity will include Wi=Fi, Bluetooth 5, and ultra-low latency audio (ULLA) options while the displays will be of the microLED variety. Other notable features include the inclusion of a TrueDepth camera, four computer vision cameras, a pair of RGB cameras, and two low-light infrared illuminators like those used by Face ID on the iPhone 15.

As for when the new headset will arrive, it’s still a long way away. The report says that the Vision Pro 2 is expected to enter the product validation testing stage of development in 2025, suggesting a launch won’t come until towards the end of that year or in early 2026.


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