Apple is switching from Lighting to USB-C for the port on the entire iPhone 15 lineup, but the company isn't stopping there. During today's Apple event, the company announced it would also be swapping out the wired charging jack on the second-generation AirPods Pro that debuted last year. You can use a USB-C cable to charge the AirPods Pro case from an iPhone 15 too. You can already pre-order the latest AirPods Pro with USB-C case for $249 and it will be available on September 22.
Along with swapping out the charging port, Apple has also added dust protection for both the case and the earbuds. While they were both IPX4 for water resistance in the past, now they're both rated IP54. Apple also revealed that the AirPods Pro supports low-latency lossless audio when paired with the Vision Pro. Thanks to the H2 chip in both devices, you can expect 20-bit 48 kHz sound when the company's headset launches next year.
The second-gen AirPods Pro are a big improvement over the company's first version, with better audio quality and active noise cancellation (ANC) performance. Apple's earbuds and headphones have the most natural-sounding transparency mode of any we've tested, which is a huge boost for both video and voice calls. You can hear yourself so well you don't need to shout, and at times, it sounds like you aren't even wearing them. Conveniences like hands-free access to Siri, seamless switching between iCloud-connected devices and the added volume control also come in handy.
Apple is also getting ready to add three new features to the latest AirPods Pro with iOS 17. Adaptive Audio will fine-tune ANC and transparency mode to your environment. This tool "dynamically blends" the two as you move from one spot to the next and encounter varying degrees of ambient distractions. Personalized Volume, according to Apple, uses machine learning to predict your desired listening level based on your activity over time. And lastly, Conversation Awareness will lower the volume while also focusing on voices and reducing background noise. It's triggered when you start speaking, so you don't have to press a button to use it.
In addition to those main items, Apple's pending update will further improve seamless switching between various devices synced to your iCloud account. This includes jumping from iPhone to MacBook Pro when you have a video call, for example. Speaking of calls, you'll soon be able to mute/unmute by pressing the stem on the AirPods Pro. This feature will also be available on the first-generation AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and the third-gen AirPods. We expect the software-based updates to arrive soon, but there's no word yet on exactly when that will be.
Follow all of the news live from Apple's 'Wonderlust' event right here.
Update 9/14/23 3:11PM ET: This post has been updated to clarify how the AirPods Pro provides lossless audio for the upcoming Vision Pro headset. This feature does not utilize the new USB-C case and instead relies on the H2 chip in both devices.