Apple tipped to launch AirPods with USB-C charging case alongside iPhone 15

The Apple AirPods Pro 2 headphones on a grey background
The current AirPods Pro 2 earbuds (above) still have Lightning-based charging. (Image credit: Apple)

We've been hearing for months that Apple's best wireless earbuds, which are the AirPods Pro 2 in our humble opinion, will be getting a USB-C charging case this year. But new rumors suggest that not only will we see that AirPods update at the same event as the iPhone 15 launch, but that the ordinary AirPods may be getting the same upgrade too. 

Adding USB-C to the best AirPods is part of Apple's ongoing embrace of USB-C, which delivers faster data transfer and charging than the aging Lightning port first introduced in the iPhone 5. 

Multiple leaks indicate that USB-C AirPods are in development, but so far they've said the upgrade is for the Pro version. However, a post by Bloomberg's well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman suggests that the AirPods 3 are getting the same upgrade.

Are AirPods 3 getting USB-C?

Almost certainly. But the question isn't whether they will, it's when they will. Based on Gurman's latest post, the Apple tipster suggests that the when could be within the next two weeks at its September 12 event.

It could just be poor wording on Gurman's part. But he's an established Apple reporter and doesn't tend to make that kind of mistake. So when he posts "to match the new iPhones, Apple will introduce updated AirPods at the event that include a USB-C charging port" without specifying AirPods Pro 2, it does suggest that the same upgrade is coming to Apple's more affordable AirPods as well.

Gurman didn't go into any more detail so if it is indeed true that the AirPods 3 are getting USB-C, it's unclear whether they're getting any more upgrades. Given that they came out in 2001, you'd think that if they're getting a late-2023 update then there might be more here than just a differently shaped charging connector. If that's the case, no pun intended, then we'd expect more details to leak between now and the Apple event. 

You might also like

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.