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Apple lets AirPods Pro owners upgrade to USB-C

Apple AirPods Pro Second Gen charging case with USB-C.
Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

Apple now sells the USB-C version of its AirPods Pro Gen 2 charging case on its own, which is good news for anyone who wants to switch to USB-C charging for their existing second-gen AirPods Pro. However, the switch from lightning to USB-C will come with a hefty premium: Apple is asking $99 for the , as noted by the Verge, or half the price that’s currently advertised on Amazon for a new, complete set of AirPods Pro second-gen with USB-C.

Apple AirPods Pro Second Gen charging case with USB-C and charging case with Lightning.
Apple AirPods Pro second-gen charging case with USB-C (left) and the second-gen charging case with Lightning. Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

The bad news for folks who own the earlier AirPods Pro Gen 2 earbuds (and who like their Lightning-equipped charging case) is that Apple is now all-in on USB-C. It no longer sells replacement AirPods Pro Gen 2 cases with Lightning, and after some quick googling, it looks like very few retailers carry them either. You may still find it as a refurbished item on sites like Walmart.

Still, the USB-C variant of the case — which has UWB for more accurate location tracking, plus a built-in speaker — is fully compatible with any version of the AirPods Pro Gen 2 earbuds (though not the first-gen, so buyer beware), even if you originally bought yours with an Apple Lightning connector. It also has the benefit of being dust and water resistant with an IP54 rating. The Lighting version was only water resistant at IPX4.

If you’re thinking of switching to USB-C right away, or perhaps you’re thinking the standalone case might make for a good holiday gift, you may want to adjust your plans. Arrival ship dates for most major U.S. cities appears to be starting on December 26 as of today (December 13).

Alternatively, you might simply want to wait. There’s a good chance that Apple will offer a full revamp of the AirPods Pro sometime in 2024, and if they come with some of the features we’re hoping for, they’ll likely be some of the best wireless earbuds you can buy.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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