Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


AirPods Pro with USB-C are here, but where's the love for other AirPods models, Apple?

It's official: Apple's new AirPods Pro 2 comes with a USB-C charging port and iOS 17 upgrades. But some of Apple's most popular accessories are being left behind.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

With Apple's announcement yesterday of the iPhone 15, it's now official: The new iPhone isn't Apple's only product to receive a USB-C makeover.

Also: Everything Apple just announced: iPhone 15, Apple Watch Ultra 2, AirPods

During the company's annual hardware event, the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) were rereleased with a USB-C charging port. But a USB-C port promises more than universal charging for the AirPods Pro 2.

The new AirPods Pro 2 have additional dust resistance. The new IP rating is IP54, which is a significant upgrade from the original IPX4 rating. 

The updated AirPods Pro 2 also supports 20-bit, 48kHz lossless audio with ultra-low latency when they are connected to the Vision Pro, Apple's mixed reality headset. Listeners can also plug their upgraded AirPods Pro 2 into any iPhone 15 model to charge them.

However, the base model AirPods and the high-end AirPods Max weren't mentioned, and they likely won't be USB-C compatible until sometime next year, according to Bloomberg

In addition to missing out on USB-C charging compatibility, AirPods Max and base model AirPods are also missing out on the new iOS 17 features coming to AirPods Pro: Adaptive Audio and Conversation Awareness.

Also: Should you buy an iPhone 15? Here's how my wife and I are deciding 

The most likely reason is that all three generations of the base model AirPods and the AirPods Max use Apple's H1 chip. The AirPods Pro 2, on the contrary, uses Apple's updated H2 chip, the same chip found in the Vision Pro, and are the only Apple headphones equipped with the newer processor. 


The AirPods Max relied on a companion case to switch between sleep and active modes.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Still, it's disappointing to see more expensive audio options like the AirPods Max be left behind when it comes to feature upgrades. Hopefully, we'll get more AirPods news early next year.

Also: Apple iPhone 15 hands-on: New features left me with no Pro model envy at all

The upgraded AirPods Pro 2 will be available for $249, so there's no increase in price from the original model. They are available for pre-order on Apple's website and will ship starting September 22.

Editorial standards