Apple now sells standalone USB-C charging case for AirPods Pro 2

AirPod 2 charger and USB-C connector
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple introduced its refresh of the AirPods Pro 2 this past September, some of you might have been a bit irked if you’d already had a charging case that used a Lightning connector. Well, if that’s you, today's your lucky day, since, according to a story on The Verge, you’ll now be able to purchase the new charger, which is being offered on the Apple Store as a standalone accessory. 

However, you still might be a bit peeved since you’ll need to fork over $99 for the new charger. And although you can order the accessory now, it won’t be delivered until late December, or until 2024.

Here are some details about the new USB-C charger: “The MagSafe Charging Case (USB‑C) for AirPods Pro (2nd generation), includes the U1 chip with Precision Finding to help you quickly identify the location of your case. And if you’re nearby but can’t find it, you can play a sound from the built-in speaker…. The MagSafe Charging Case is built to brave the elements, with IP54 dust, sweat, and water resistance.” Apple also states the case can be charged with an Apple Watch, MagSafe charger, USB‑C connector or Qi-certified charger.

This is part of Apple’s broader product strategy of replacing Lightning connectors with USB-C connectors.

By offering this new charging accessory, Apple is just continuing to follow its broader strategy of replacing Lightning connectors with USB-C connectors.

But as James Bentley wrote this past September, the upcoming year “will definitely have some growing pains as consumers have to get rid of old wires and maybe even exchange Lightning-compatible accessories. This will also hit AirPods users: Someone updating their AirPods Pro but not their iPhone 14 Pro Max will be have to take two chargers with them, an awkward experience to be sure.” 

Of course, one of the big benefits, though, will be that the USB-C ecosystem will allow consumers to end up with “far less eWaste further down the line, due to a simplified, streamlined product family.”

One final thing about the AirPods Pro 2: It's worth mentioning that when Apple introduced the new AirPods Pro 2, it wasn't just providing a new connector for the case. Among other enhancements, the newly updated earbuds are empowered with 5Ghz Bluetooth (instead of 2.4GHz Bluetooth). So, the new earbuds will allow for a lossless audio feature that will be used with the Vision Pro headset (due to hit stores sometime in 2024). 

Terry Sullivan

Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.