In addition to announcing new USB-C-based iPhones at yesterday’s special event, Apple also announced refreshed AirPods Pro (2nd generation) noise-cancelling wireless headphones that come with a charging case sporting a USB-C charging port.
The move, clearly intended to bring the popular wireless headphones inline with the charging port of the newly announced iPhone 15 and 15 Pro lineups, has been cheered on by many. But in a typical Apple fashion, it’s worth noting that the company isn’t offering standalone USB-C charging cases for the AirPods Pro, whether they’re the second generation or not.
Instead, existing Lightning charging case-based AirPods Pro & Pro 2 users will be forced to buy a completely new set of $249 AirPods Pro 2 headphones if they want to get the USB-C port.
Worthy of note, when Apple added wireless charging to their AirPods and AirPods Pro charging cases, the standalone charging cases were made available for sale separately of the headphones, allowing users to upgrade. The lack of a standalone USB-C-based AirPods Pro charging case purchase option leaves a bitter taste in a lot of owners’ mouths.
The refreshed USB-C-compatible AirPods Pro 2 come with more than just a new port, but apparently also feature some other upgrades compared to the original AirPods Pro 2 that shipped with a Lightning port on the charging case, including improved dust resistance now rated at IP54 (up from IPX4), and the ability to take advantage of Lossless audio when connected to the upcoming Vision Pro. My colleague Christian touches on these changes in more detail in another post.
As it stands, existing users of the original AirPods Pro 2 with a Lightning-based charging case will either need to keep using MagSafe or a Lightning cable to charge their charging case, or they will need to purchase a Lightning to USB-C adapter from Apple to give this product synergy with the rest of their USB-C ecosystem.
Who other than Apple could implement such an absurdity?
It remains to be seen if Apple will sell a USB-C-based charging case for existing AirPods Pro & Pro 2 users in the future, but they don’t as of right now. The upgraded AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with an included USB-C charging case are available on Apple’s website for $249 with an expected delivery date of Friday, September 22nd.
What are your thoughts about Apple not offering a standalone USB-C charging case for the AirPods Pro & Pro 2? Let us know in the comments section down below.