Ah yes, the product from Apple's September event we've all been waiting to learn more about: AirPods Pro 2 with USB -C. Reviews are presented for most Apple AirPods headphones with USB-C’
We remind you of what's new. :
- On-body USB-C charging port instead of Lightning.
- Improved dust resistance.
- Lossless sound when used with Apple Vision Pro.
Otherwise, the slightly redesigned headphones are exactly the same as the AirPods Pro 2 from Apple's previous September event.
Given this, it's not surprising that The Verge's Chris Welch had little to say about the updated AirPods. Instead, the review focused on the new software features available in AirPods Pro 2, old and new:
I used the updated second generation AirPods Pro. for a few days now, and while dust resistance provides some added peace of mind, I can't imagine anyone other than the staunchest USB-C proponents will feel any temptation to upgrade. (It's a shame Apple doesn't sell the USB-C enclosure separately.) From a user's perspective, everything else about them is identical to last year's model.
TechCrunch's Brian Heather wrote conceptually about the promised lossless audio in updated AirPods Pro 2 and Vision Pro:
When paired together, you get 20-bit lossless audio at 48kHz and ultra-low latency. Considering how spatial audio in headphones gives the listener a sense of location, it's easy to see how they end up pairing nicely together. Of course, we'll have to save that particular experience for another day, closer to the Vision Pro launch I guess.
From a practical standpoint, it can be said that the true, fully immersive Vision Pro Experience requires the purchase of a separate pair of AirPods. If you're already spending $3,500, what's another $249 between friends?
He mentions that “the original AirPods Pro 2 will charge in the old case”; which I assume is meant to read the new case, so that's good for anyone hoping Apple will eventually sell a USB-C case separately.
Inverse's Ray Wong also reviewed the new AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C. Here's what he had to say about the differences this year:
Both the headphones and the charging case are IP54 rated; “5” translated as protection against dust and “4” means protection against splashing water. The old Lightning AirPods Pro (2nd generation) had an IPX4 rating. I have no way to confirm the new dust rating, so I'll have to take Apple's word for it. At least they'll survive a trip to Burning Man better.
I also wasn't able to test Lossless Audio support in Apple Vision Pro because the spatial computer doesn't launch until 2024.
Similarly, CNBC's Keefe Leswing wrote all about the new software features coming to both versions of the AirPods Pro 2, given that there's not much to write home about the updated hardware yet.
We wondered, what's the point of this? The reviews that Apple has embargoed will focus on the USB-C AirPods Pro 2. It turns out that this is mostly an opportunity to highlight the AirPods Pro 2's software features.
With that in mind, we'll leave you with a video unpacking. Consider this a way to experience what's new without replacing your existing AirPods Pro 2.