There are new Apple AirPods Pro, after all

AirPods Pro 2 get an upgrade to USB-C for charging

AirPods Pro 2 USB-C
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple was expected to announce new AirPods Pro earbuds during its "Wonderlust" event today and it did... sort of.

It was mentioned in passing during the event itself, but you can now find a new version of the ANC in-ears on the official Apple online store. However, the only major upgrade comes with the case rather than the buds themselves.

That's because, as with the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models also announced, the AirPods Pro now come with a USB-C port for wired charging.

Apple has had to ditch the Lightning connection to comply with an EU ruling that comes into effect next year, but it's also of benefit to anyone who buys a pair of the new AirPods Pro from 22 September (when they go on sale). That's because you'll be able to use the same cable as a vast majority of your other devices to charge them.

Of course, the newer version of the charging case also comes with wireless MagSafe charging, as before, so you might never even use the cable anyway. But, as they are the same price, there's no harm done either way.

In terms of the AirPods Pro buds inside the case, it's largely business as usual. They are almost identical to the previously available 2nd Gen in-ear headphones.

That means they run on the same H2 chip and come with excellent active noise cancellation tech. However, they are slightly better when it comes to dust resistance thanks to an improved IP54 rating.

Some of the best new features will be available to both the new USB-C buds or older Lightning ones, as iOS 17 will soon introduce additional capabilities.

That includes Adaptive Audio – an enhanced listening feature that is more dynamic when switching between transparency and ANC modes. It assesses the environment and can automatically choose the best mode for the situation.

There will be a new Conversation Awareness mode added too, which will lower the volume if someone is detected speaking to the wearer.

And, Personalised Volume will automatically fine-tune volume control to best suit the owner in different scenarios, by learning preferences over time.

The new AirPods Pro with USB-C are available to pre-order now at £229 and will ship from 22 September 2023.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.