You can now upgrade your AirPods Pro to USB-C

Apple now provides a way for you to upgrade your Lightning earbuds to USB-C

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

Apple's best earbuds are the AirPods Pro 2, and earlier this year they got an update to deliver USB-C charging instead of the familiar Lightning connector. If you have Lightning AirPods Pro you can now upgrade them to USB-C too, because Apple now offers the USB-C charging case as a stand-alone purchase. However, it's only compatible with the AirPods Pro 2. If you have an older pair of Pros, or non-Pro AirPods, you're out of luck.

The case, or to give it its full name the MagSafe Charging Case (USB-C) for AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), is available now from Apple. The UK price is £89 and the US price is $99. Don't expect delivery before Christmas, though: Apple UK is showing me estimated delivery dates in January 2024.

Is Apple's USB-C charging case worth buying?

One of the main benefits here is for iPhone 15 users, because the USB-C case can be charged directly from your iPhone's USB-C port. 

There is more to the charging case than just the connector, but not much: the case is now dust and water resistant to IP54, which the Lightning case wasn't. Other than that it has the same U1 connector for accurate Find My location, the same speaker and the same lanyard connector. 

It's important to note that upgrading the case to the USB-C version won't upgrade your AirPods Pro 2 in any other way: the updated AirPods Pro 2 are slightly different from their predecessors with what Apple calls a new "acoustic architecture" and better Vision Pro compatibility. There's some debate on whether they sound any better on non-Vision Pro devices, but reviewers who say they can notice a difference generally say that the difference isn't dramatic.

If you've already got the AirPods Pro 2 and haven't lost the case, there isn't a compelling reason to upgrade here unless you really want that USB-C charging from your iPhone 15. But if your existing case is battered or someone gives you an Apple Store gift card for Christmas it's a nice little upgrade – albeit with the emphasis on little.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (