Apple Releases Third-Generation AirPods With Non-MagSafe Charging Case

In addition to unveiling the second-generation AirPods Pro today, Apple made the third-generation AirPods available with a Lightning charging case that lacks MagSafe wireless charging. This version of the case can be charged with a Lightning cable only.

AirPods 3 Charging Case
Pricing for the third-generation AirPods with a Lightning case is set at $169 in the United States, compared to $179 for the third-generation AirPods with a MagSafe case, so it seems like there is very limited value in choosing this new option.

Apple did not announce any other updates to the third-generation AirPods today, and the second-generation AirPods remain available for $129.

The new AirPods Pro feature an H2 chip for improved audio quality and up to 2x the amount of active noise cancellation, improvements to Transparency mode, a revamped charging case with Find My support and a built-in lanyard loop, Bluetooth 5.3, and more.

Related Roundup: AirPods 3
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: AirPods

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Top Rated Comments

HeavenDynamic Avatar
23 months ago
OK, but why?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
burnout8488 Avatar
23 months ago

The AP3 wireless case can't charge with a cable (like the Apple Watch).

Yes it can - per the specs on Apple.com : The Lightning Charging Case works with the Lightning connector. The MagSafe Charging Case works wirelessly with MagSafe charger and Qi-certified chargers or with the Lightning connector.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brofkand Avatar
23 months ago

The decision is simple: they wanted to save money and probably physical space by not offering both wireless and wired charging in the same device. It's a user option.

The AP3 wireless case can't charge with a cable (like the Apple Watch).

I will likely buy the one that charges from a cable. Wireless would be yet *another* charger to take on the road. I'd buy the non-wireless-charging version even if they were the same price; the $10 discount is a nice bonus but the decision has nothing to do with price and everything to do with convenience.

ALSO, I suspect (but don't know) that if the EU ever decides to require standardization on USB-C chargers, Apple will just stop selling the Lightning-wired version in the EU.
You've never seen AirPods cases have you? They all have a Lightning port on them.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mcru21 Avatar
23 months ago
this is hilariously stupid
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
23 months ago

OK, but why?
Yeah no kidding.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saladin12 Avatar
23 months ago

Read the specs for the new ones. They pretty clearly read as either/or.
The standard case has MagSafe and Lightning as standard... This is a new SKU with JUST lightning - nothing else has changed...

So you either get AirPods (3rd Gen) with MagSafe + Lightning or just with Lightning
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)