Apple will launch USB-C AirPods Pro at the iPhone 15 event, but its regular AirPods and the flagship $549 AirPods Max will apparently get USB-C charging in 2024.
Also, don’t expect hardware or design changes to the AirPods lineup before all of the current models have gained USB-C charging cases. iOS 17 and other updates to Apple’s operating systems will add new software-based features to compatible AirPods, like muting and a feature called Conversation Awareness.
The AirPods and AirPods Max will get USB-C in 2024
In a new report on Bloomberg, Gurman states that “Apple is working to move all of its Lightning-based accessories over to” USB-C. “The company also plans to bring USB-C charging to its low-end AirPods and AirPods Max as early as next year.”
As for the AirPods Pro, the best-selling AirPods model, Gurman previously said Apple would announce a version of the AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case at the upcoming “Wonderlust” event, matching the iPhone 15 models that will also use USB-C instead of Lightning.
Apple is expected to adopt USB-C for charging and data transfer across all of its remaining Lightning products, including iPhones, AirPods, Magic accessories, external batteries and other.
The move was forced by the European Union, which recently passed a new regulation standardizing USB-C Power Delivery as the required charging protocol for consumer electronics devices.
As for the rumored health-tracking AirPods that would integrate a body-temperature sensor and a new hearing-test system, Gurman speculates those enhancements “are likely to be released later.”
The same journalist confirmed recently that Apple has been developing new AirPods Pro and AirPods Max models, but it’s unclear from report so far whether those updates include any health sensors.