Ah, yes, the product from Apple’s September event that we’ve all been waiting to know more about: AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C. The reviews are in for Apple’s most USB-C AirPods yet…
As a reminder of what’s new:
- USB-C charging port on the case in place of Lightning
- Improved dust resistance
- Lossless audio when used with Apple Vision Pro
Otherwise, the slightly revised earbuds are exactly the same as AirPods Pro 2 from Apple’s previous September event.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Chris Welch at The Verge had virtually nothing to say about the revised AirPods. Instead, the review focused on new software features available on AirPods Pro 2, old and new:
I’ve been using the refreshed second-gen AirPods Pro for a few days now, and while the dust resistance makes for some added peace of mind, I can’t imagine that anyone except for the staunchest USB-C loyalists will feel any temptation to upgrade. (It’s a shame that Apple isn’t selling the USB-C case by itself.) From a user’s perspective, everything else about these is identical to last year’s model.
Brian Heater at TechCrunch wrote conceptually about the promised lossless audio experience with the revised AirPods Pro 2 and Vision Pro:
When the two are paired, you’ll get 20-bit, 48kHz lossless audio at ultra-low latency. Given how spatial audio on headphones give the listener a sense of location, it’s easy to see how the two will ultimately pair nicely together. Of course, that specific experience is something we’ll have to save for another day, closer to the Vision Pro launch, I suppose.
In practical terms, you could say 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 does mention that the “original AirPods Pro 2 will charge in the old case” which I believe is meant to read new case, so that’s good for anyone hoping Apple eventually sells the USB-C case separately.
Ray Wong at Inverse also reviewed the new AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C. Here’s what he had to say about the differences this year:
Both the earbuds and the charging case carry an IP54 rating; the “5” translates to protection against dust and the “4” means protection from water splashes. The old Lightning AirPods Pro (2nd generation) were IPX4-rated. I have no way to confirm the new dusting rating so I’ll have to take Apple’s word. At the very least, they should better survive a trip to Burning Man.
I also couldn’t test the Lossless Audio support with Apple Vision Pro because the spatial computer doesn’t launch until early 2024.
Likewise, Kif Leswing at CNBC wrote entirely about the new software features coming to both AirPods Pro 2 versions given the lack of much to write about specifically with the revised hardware so far.
We did wonder what the point of Apple embargoed reviews would be for USB-C AirPods Pro 2. Turns out it’s mostly an opportunity to bring attention to AirPods Pro 2 software features.
With that in mind, we’ll leave you with the unboxing videos. Consider it a way to experience the new without replacing your existing AirPods Pro 2.
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