USB-C AirPods Pro to arrive with iPhone 15 - no other hardware changes planned

AirPods Pro 2 on a mosaic table
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

With Apple seemingly adapting to a USB-C future, the AirPods Pro are joining the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro with a new charging port. This change to USB-C is thanks to the European Union's new regulations that want to make sure that charging standards are universal, no matter the maker of your device, so Apple doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Beyond the new port, however, there don’t look to be any other changes, so rather than a brand new pair of AirPods it’s more a mid-life light refresh for the buds.

In the latest issue of Power On, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that this change will be introduced on September 12th, only citing the AirPods Pro and four iPhone 15 models as devices that will adopt the new charging standard. These are expected to be announced at this year’s Apple Event.

A minor but necessary upgrade 

Despite the current lineup of AirPods Pro not getting any hardware changes like new drivers or a better battery to accommodate a potentially stronger charger, the introduction of iOS 17 will come with software changes for the buds. These include Conversation Awareness which can detect when someone is speaking to a lower volume and cut off background noise. This is an interesting feature for all users but may be particularly valuable to those who are hearing impaired. 

Alongside this, AirPods pro users will get Personalized Volume — adjusting the sound of your devices depending on personal preferences, your environment, and more. The longer you spend using them, the more it can finetune your experience. Even without these software changes, the AirPods Pro 2 offer great battery life, portability, and sound for the price — making them the best true wireless earbuds of 2023. 

It looks like all future Apple devices are going to use the USB-C standard, making sure that you'll only need one power adapter for all your tech. Don't expect loads of Apple's older devices to get USB-C without significant updates, however, as those will likely be fazed out and replaced with newer versions that pack in the new port.

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.