Apple introduced the third-generation AirPods on Monday, the wireless earphones we’ve been calling AirPods 3 until Apple’s event. The new AirPods cost $179, just like their predecessors, which Apple now sells for just $129. The AirPods 3 deliver the AirPods Pro-like redesign, but they’re not identical to the Pro model. They have a smaller stem like the Pro, but they lack removable tips and noise cancelation support. The AirPods 3 case also features a new design. It’s shorter but wider than the AirPods 2 case. But it’s not as wide as the AirPods Pro case. What really matters here is that the AirPods 3 comes with MagSafe charging support. And it turns out Apple quietly updated the AirPods Pro to support its wireless charging standard.
Used only on MacBooks, MagSafe is now available on other Apple devices, including iPhone and AirPods. It’s wireless charging that uses magnets to hold the device in a fixed position against the wireless charger. MagSafe charging offers faster charging speeds on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 than regular wireless chargers.
During the MacBook Pro event on Monday, Apple revealed that the new AirPods 3 case will work with wireless chargers, just like the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro. But the new charging case will also stick to the MagSafe charger if you’ve got one.
AirPods Pro comes with a MagSafe Charging Case
Apple didn’t mention the AirPods Pro update on stage, but the Pro also gets MagSafe charging support. Apple notes the upgrade in the AirPods 3 press release, in a bullet point in the Pricing and Availability section:
AirPods Pro now come with MagSafe Charging Case for the same price of $249 (US)
The same MagSafe Charging Case appears everywhere else on Apple’s AirPods pages. That’s the only Pro model that Apple sells right now, so you won’t find AirPods Pro with a regular wireless charging case in Apple’s stores.
The MagSafe upgrade is free of charge, as the AirPods Pro still retails for $249. Other retailers often discount the AirPods Pro, so you might score the wireless earphones for even better prices. You’ll just have to ensure that the discounted AirPods Pro earphones you buy do support MagSafe charging. That’s because retailers might still have stock of the non-MagSafe version.
When it comes to battery life, the AirPods Pro’s MagSafe Charging Case offers more than 18 hours of talk time and more than 24 hours of listening time. The AirPods 3’s MagSafe case is even better. We’re looking at up to 20 hours of talk time and up to 30 hours of listening time.
The MagSafe upgrade means little to those people who do not own iPhones or don’t have MagSafe chargers. But if you’re an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 user who moved to MagSafe charging, then you’ll appreciate the MagSafe upgrade down the road.
Like the AirPods 3, the AirPods Pro with MagSafe support is available to order right now.