During yesterday’s iPhone and Apple Watch event, Apple gave a quick mention to the AirPods Pro 2nd generation.
Apple introduced the 2nd generation at last year’s September event, including improved sound quality, Spatial Audio and Active Noise Cancellation/Transparency. With this update only coming a year ago, it makes sense to only quietly refresh the still popular AirPods Pro, rather than introduce a whole new redesign.
Yesterday Apple updated their phone and watch line-ups, introducing a new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. All of Apple’s new iPhones now support USB-C charging, instead of Lightning.
To match Apple’s new phones, AirPods Pro are upgrading to USB-C too, while also still supporting MagSafe Charging. This updated port also allows for charging the AirPods case directly from an iPhone 15, using a standard USB-C to USB-C cable.
USB-C all the things!
USB-C is also coming to Apple’s wired EarPods, which are available to order on Apple.com today for $19.
There are still several Apple products and accessories that use Lightning. We are now waiting for Apple’s entire line-up to be upgraded to USB-C:
- AirPods Max
- Powerbeats Pro
- Magic Keyboard
- Magic Trackpad
- Magic Mouse
- iPhone SE
What else is new with the AirPods Pro 2nd generation?
Although the updated AirPods Pro were only briefly mentioned in the event, Apple also included a few other details in a recent press release.
First up, AirPods Pro are improving their sweat and water resistance rating from IPX4 to IP54, which includes dust resistance. This applies to both the AirPods themselves and case.
Secondly, Lossless Audio support is coming to AirPods Pro… sort of. When paired with an Apple Vision Pro, AirPods Pro support Lossless Audio and ultra-low audio latency. The H2 chip unlocks 20-bit, 48 kHz Lossless Audio, which is great for entertainment, gaming, FaceTime calls in Apple’s upcoming VR headset. However, it’s odd that Lossless Audio is only available in these new updated AirPods, when paired with an Apple Vision Pro. Why not last year’s AirPods Pro 2nd generation, considering the same chip is being used, or when paired to an iPhone, iPad or Mac? Apple Vision Pro is available early next year in the US.
As announced at WWDC in June, iOS 17, releasing Monday, September 18, is also bringing new features to AirPods, including Adaptive Audio, Conversation Awareness and Personalized Volume.
When will the new AirPods Pro 2nd generation be available?
Apple’s new AirPods Pro 2nd generation are available to order online at Apple and Amazon today for $249. They will be available in stores and shipping starts next Friday, September 22.