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Now is the worst time to buy some new AirPods

You don't want to be saddled with a pair of earbuds that requires a special charging cable.
By

Published onAugust 29, 2023

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) charging case with its Lightning input and speaker.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

Did you just lose your AirPods or put them in the washer by mistake? Maybe you dipped in the pool and forgot you had them in your pocket. Or maybe peer pressure over the summer has finally gotten to you and you’ve decided it’s time to move from that old pair of wired buds to spankin’ new wireless buds. Regardless of the reason, if you’re hitting “Buy” or “Add to cart” on any model of AirPods today, we really think you’re making a bad decision. You should wait a couple of weeks.

Why? Because September is upon us and with it comes a brand new Apple event where the company will announce its iPhone 15 line-up — the first to feature USB-C charging. And Apple being sensible and all (with the European Commission breathing down its neck), it won’t accept that its new iPhone buyers be seen carrying two different charging cables for their earbuds and their phones. So USB-C is coming to the AirPods too!

Does USB-C factor in your buying decision for tech products?

245 votes
Apple Airpods Pro 2nd generation vs Apple Airpods 3rd generation case and earbuds comparison
Lily Katz / Android Authority

The rumors aren’t very certain yet — they’re rumors, after all — but it seems that Apple will use the September event to either launch a brand new AirPods Pro 3 or launch a version of the Pro 2 with a USB-C case. The latter is a much more likely scenario. There’s also a high chance that Cupertino will repeat what it did for the original AirPods and sell a separate USB-C capable case for those who already have a pair of Pro 2.

As for the other AirPods (regular and Max), the leaks are a bit more vague and point to a 2024 switch to USB-C with the AirPods (4th gen) and Max 2. Nothing surprising there since the European Commission has December 28, 2024 as the deadline for any new phone, camera, headphone, or pair of earbuds to switch to USB-C. But even though there’s nothing apparently imminent there, we’d still suggest you wait until Apple’s press conference before committing to a purchase. There’s a chance that the basic AirPods (3rd gen) will see a price slash to $99 and we can’t discount the possibility of Apple surprising us all by releasing USB-C versions of all existing AirPod models.

usb c cable plugged multiport power strip
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

But what’s so cool about USB-C that you should hold off on your imminent purchase and wait for it? Well, if you’re coming from an Apple background, you might have already seen it on your Apple Watch, iPad, or MacBook and gotten a glimpse of its promise. For us on the Android side, USB-C has been the answer to our single-cable prayers (despite a few messy hiccups along the way).

It’s awesome to be able to charge everything — computer, phone, tablet, smartwatch, earbuds/headphones, action camera, e-reader, and other random accessories — with a single outlet and cable. USB-C is ubiquitous now and every wall charger, portable battery, and multi-port power strip has it. That makes charging more streamlined and manageable at home, at work/school, in our backpacks, while traveling, and everywhere else really.

So there you go. If you’re thinking about grabbing an iPhone 15, you really should wait to get a pair of AirPods that charge with the same cable. And if you plan to connect your AirPods to an Android phone, you should obviously wait for this seemingly imminent USB-C AirPods. Buying a pair now would be a mistake unless you plan to return it in a couple of weeks.

The only scenario in which I think it’d be fine to grab a pair of AirPods before Apple’s event is if you own an iPhone 14 or older and are not planning to upgrade at any point in the next year or two. But even then, the rumored regular AirPods price drop to $99 would make me wait a bit, personally.

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