AirPods Pro 2 tipped to still come with a Lightning port

Concept image of stemless AirPods Pro 2 earbuds and charging case
(Image credit: Konstantin Milenin)

The rumored AirPods Pro 2 may come with several updates when they supposedly arrive later this year. 

But annoyingly, according to Apple supply chain expert Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), Apple will be keeping its proprietary Lightning connector on the new AirPods Pro charging case, rather than moving to the widely-used USB-C port see on many of the buds on our best wireless earbuds list.

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Apple already uses USB-C ports on almost all its iPad and Mac products, and is rumored to be putting them on the iPhone 15 next year, with the 2023 AirPods and other accessories following on from that

Moving its next AirPods Pro generation to USB-C charging would have fitted in with Apple's alleged plans. It would also make life easier forvusers who could just carry around a USB-C cable and charger to handle the juicing up of their devices, rather than needing a secondary cable or charging unit. 

Mass production for the AirPods Pro 2 will start in the second half of this year according to Kuo, but in Vietnam rather than in both Vietnam and China like the original AirPods Pro are. Testing is tipped to still take place in China however, suggesting to Kuo that Apple can't completely escape the gravity of its current supply chain. It's something the company's likely keen to do, given its troubles with Chinese coronavirus lockdowns disrupting manufacturing and causing big delays for devices like the MacBook Pro.

Previous rumors for the AirPods Pro 2 have claimed the 'buds will feature a new stemless shape, fitness tracking capabilities and lossless audio playback. There may even be two size options for the first time, helping users get the right fit alongside the different ear tip sizes. The addition of even one of these rumored changes would be a big deal, and help gain the AirPods Pro 2 a position on our best wireless earbuds guide.

The likely launch for the AirPods Pro 2 will be this fall, among other expected Apple products like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. According to one leak, the precise date could be September 13.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.