This means that from today onwards, the AirPods Pro 2 version with a Lightning connector has been officially replaced by the updated AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Case (USB‑C) model. Catchy name, right?
But what's more interesting is that in the UK at least, this new model has a launch price of £229 (pre-orders are now open on the Apple UK website). That's a whole £20 less than what the AirPods Pro 2 originally launched at in September 2022, while in the US the same new model officially costs $249 as before. In fact, the AirPods Pro 2 (Lightning case) are currently at a deal price of £239 at Amazon UK, so the new USB-C-equipped 'Pods are definitely the better bargain overall.
The AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case is available for pre-order now, with shipping starting from 22nd September. If you've waited this long to buy a pair of premium ANC AirPods Pro, then you're getting the best deal yet.
Besides the charging case, which now sports a USB-C connection and is IP54 rated against dust and water, nothing else material has changed about the wireless earbuds themselves. There are a few new features being added thanks to iOS 17 update on Monday 18th September – Adaptive Audio for ANC (a mid-way point between full ANC and Transparency Mode), Conversation Awareness (similar to Sony's Speak-to-Chat) and Personalised Volume (it will learn your volume preferences over time) – but those features will also be available for anyone with the current AirPods Pro 2 with Lightning connector as they share the same H2 chip.
Crucially, current AirPods Pro 2 owners need not worry about any change in sound quality or ANC, as the buds themselves have remained the same. We were impressed by Apple's delivery of clear and spacious detail, natural warmth with voices, snappy timing, newfound levels of punch and power, along with enjoyable dynamics that resulted in our first five-star review for a pair of in-ear AirPods.
There is one small but potentially significant upgrade: the new AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C case will feature a "groundbreaking wireless audio protocol" that makes lossless audio up to 20-bit/48kHz and ultra low latency possible when used with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro virtual reality headset – again, thanks to both using the same H2 chip. This shouldn't affect anyone simply listening to music via smartphone or laptop (it doesn't affect the Bluetooth standard codec), but it's worth noting if you're interested in 2024's Vision Pro VR/AR headset.
We'll be trying out the new iOS 17 features once we take the AirPods Pro for a spin post-software update, but if you've been wondering whether the new AirPods Pro 2 were worth a buy or not, maybe the £20 difference in price could settle your mind.
Then again, Black Friday and Christmas/Boxing Day sales are only a couple of months away...
Read our Apple AirPods Pro 2 review
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