You might have missed this important AirPods announcement at Apple’s iPhone 15 launch
- The new EarPods now have a USB-C connector instead of a Lightning connector, making them compatible with the new iPhones without adapters.
- The AirPods Pro 2 have a USB-C port on the Wireless Charging Case and will work particularly well with the upcoming Vision Pro headset, offering lossless audio and reduced audio latency.
- The updated AirPods Pro will be available for purchase on September 22 for $249, along with the new iPhones and Apple Watches. Apple Vision Pro will be released early next year.
With so much going on during Apple’s Wonderlust event on 12 September it would have been very easy to miss some things. Much of the focus was understandably on the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups, but there was plenty else to take in. Including slightly refreshed earbuds.
Sure, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra also got their debut, but the humble EarPods and AirPods Pro 2 also got a mention. Both now support the USB-C charging solution that also came to the new iPhones, while the latter also has a secret feature that will only be available to those who buy the upcoming Vision Pro headset.
USB-C as far as the eye can see
The new EarPods aren’t all that exciting, as you might expect. They’re the same as the ones that are already on sale except they ditched the Lightning connector at the end of the cable, replacing it with a new USB-C connector instead. You’ll need that to plug them into one of the new iPhones if you don’t want to mess around with adapters.
As for the AirPods Pro 2, things get more interesting. Apple’s press release details the new USB-C port on the Wireless Charging Case, as you’d expect. But things get more interesting when you look further down the press release and the news that the new AirPods Pro will work particularly well with the upcoming Vision Pro headset.
“AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Charging Case (USB‑C) will enable Lossless Audio with ultra-low latency to deliver the perfect true wireless solution with Apple Vision Pro,” the press release states. “The H2 chip in the latest AirPods Pro and Apple Vision Pro, combined with a groundbreaking wireless audio protocol, unlocks powerful 20-bit, 48 kHz Lossless Audio with a massive reduction in audio latency.” While some will no doubt have something to say about Apple calling that lossless audio, the announcement is interesting in that it sounds like the new Vision Pro feature won’t work with previous AirPods Pro, even if you have the second generation.
“When Apple Vision Pro is available early next year in the U.S., customers will be able to enjoy the most advanced wireless audio experience in the industry with the new AirPods Pro for exceptional entertainment, gaming, FaceTime calls, and so much more,” the press release continues.
The updated AirPods Pro will go on sale for the same $249 asking price on 22 September, the same date that Apple’s new iPhones and Apple Watches will be available to buy.