AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C: Should You Upgrade

AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C

AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C: With the recent release of AirPods Pro 2, a notable change has been observed. This change is primarily due to the EU’s mandate to switch from the iPhone’s lightning port to USB C.

As a result, the new AirPods Pro 2 has also adapted this change. However, this shift is not just about the port; Apple has integrated more features in the 2023 AirPods Pro 2 model.

In this article, we will compare the differences between the 2022 AirPods Pro 2 (with Lightning) and the 2023 AirPods Pro 2 (with USB C), which go beyond just the port alteration.

Pros and Cons

AirPods Pro 2 LightningAirPods Pro 2 USB C
Works with your old chargerSupports USB-C charging
Excellent noise cancelingSupport for Lossless Audio
Audio performance is sameNew dust resistance design
Supports lightning cablePrce is same $200
Price still $199Almost same to older version
AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C
AirPods Pro 2 USB C

AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C

SpecificationsAirPods Pro 2 LightningAirPods Pro 2 USB C
TypeTrue WirelessTrue Wireless
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.3
Audio systemStereo 2.0Stereo 2.0
Noise reductionActive – ANCActive – ANC
Volume controlYesYes
Built-in microphoneYes, on the handsetYes, on the handset
IP ratingIPX4IP54
Lossless Audio with Vision Pro
ConnectorWireless, LightingWireless, USB-C
Battery LifeUpto 30 hoursUpto 30 hours
Charging time5 minutes = 1 hour5 minutes = 1 hour
CompatibilitySiri, MacOS, iOSSiri, MacOS, iOS
Weight5.3 g (earphone),
51 g (case)
5.3 g (earphone),
51 g (case)

Key Differences

  • Charging Port: The new AirPods Pro 2 features a USB-C port for charging, unlike the previous generation which had the Lightning port.
  • Charging Cable: Along with the USB-C port, you’ll get a nice braided USB-C cable to charge them.
  • Dust Resistance: The new AirPods Pro 2 adds dust resistance to its existing sweat and water resistance.
  • Audio Architecture: Apple has updated the audio architecture inside to deliver better sound. However, if you’re not deeply into audio, you might not notice much of a difference.
  • Support for Lossless Audio: The new AirPods Pro will support lossless audio, which should give a clearer, uncompressed sound. But there’s a limitation. To fully appreciate this feature, you need to pair it with Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro headset which is priced at $3,499.
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Design and Packaging

At a first glance, both models of AirPods Pro look identical except for the USB C port at the bottom of the 2023 model. This new port feature allows users to charge their AirPods Pro 2 with their iPhone 15.

The packaging of the 2023 model includes the AirPods Pro 2, documentation, a MagSafe charging case with silicon ear tips in various sizes (extra small to large), and a USB C charging cable.

AirPods Pro 2 Lightning vs AirPods Pro 2 USB C
AirPods Pro 2 USB C

Connector Type

The most apparent difference lies in the connector type. The 2023 model of AirPods Pro 2 has shifted to a USB C connector following the EU’s mandate, while the previous 2022 model had a lightning connector. This change aligns with the broader tech industry’s move towards a universal charging standard, making the AirPods Pro 2 USB C a more modern and user-friendly option.

AirPods Pro 2 USB C Earbuds Connecter
AirPods Pro 2 USB C

Lossless Audio Support

AirPods Pro 2 USB C

A unique selling point of the USB-C Airpods Pro is the ability to transmit lossless audio via Bluetooth. Strictly speaking, the sampling rate is 48 kilohertz (kHz) and the bit depth is 24 bits when paired with an Apple Vision Pro. This feature is a leap towards providing high-fidelity audio, allowing users to experience music and audio content in a more enriched manner.

AirPods Pro 2 Lightning

The Lightning version does not support this level of lossless audio, which could be a deciding factor for audiophiles and those looking to pair their AirPods with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.

Charging Case Durability

The charging case of the USB C version has been upgraded to be water and dust resistant, making it a more durable option compared to the Lightning version.

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Cable Quality

The cables in the USB C version have also been updated to a woven fabric type from the rubber type in the Lightning version. This not only enhances durability but also provides a better feel and aesthetic.

AirPods Pro 2 USB C Cable

Durability Enhancements

Apple has always prioritized durability, and with the 2023 AirPods Pro 2, some minor tweaks have been made to enhance the dust and water resistance. This means users can now maintain the longevity of their AirPods for an extended period.

AirPods Pro 2 USB C

Audio Quality

The essence of earbuds lies in the audio quality they deliver. When comparing both models, some users have reported a slight improvement in audio quality with the USB C model, particularly noting crisper high notes. However, this improvement is subtle and not a huge leap from the previous model.

Lossless Audio and Future Connections

A significant update is the support for lossless audio when connected to the upcoming Apple Vision Pro, set to be released in 2024. The chip in the 2023 AirPods Pro 2 has been updated for seamless use with the Apple Vision Pro, making it a future-proof choice for audiophiles and tech enthusiasts.

Is the Upgrade Worth It?

If you are already an owner of the 2022 AirPods Pro 2, the upgrade might not be significantly worth it. However, for those with older generation AirPods, the new 2023 AirPods Pro 2 model with USB C is a more future-proof and durable option to consider.

AirPods Pro 2 (Lightning) – $199

AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C) – $200

AirPods Pro 2 USB C Case


The transition to USB C in the 2023 AirPods Pro 2 is a reflection of a broader shift towards a universal charging standard. Besides the port change, the enhanced durability, and the support for lossless audio with the new Apple Vision Pro, add a touch of future-readiness to the new model.

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While the audio improvement might not be groundbreaking, the new features and the USB C port make the 2023 AirPods Pro 2 an enticing option for those looking to upgrade from older AirPod models.

In short, the two versions of the AirPods Pro 2 don’t have a major difference. There are some differences, of course, but they have limited practicality.


Why does Apple change to USB-C version of AirPods Pro 2?

The European Union passed a law that requires all products to have the same Type-C charging. This made Apple change from Lightning to USB-C for products like the iPhone 15 and AirPods Pro 2.

What’s new in the USB-C version of AirPods Pro 2?

There aren’t many new features. The main change is the charging box will now use USB-C instead of Lightning.

Will the AirPods 3 switch to a USB-C charging box too?

There’s no clear information yet about whether the AirPods 3 or AirPods Max will switch to USB-C.