Apple Has $19 EarPods with USB-C Now, Offering Lossless Audio Support

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Apple EarPods USB-C

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Photo Credit: Apple

Apple unveiled the new iPhone 15 models last week—with a new addition to the accessory line-up. Now EarPods are available with USB-C connectors, offering lossless playback.

The original EarPods have become an iconic part of pop culture for anyone older than 25, so of course Apple brought them into the modern era. They were designed in 2012 for a natural fit inside the ear and offer incredible acoustic quality for a bargain price. They also offer lossless audio playback on Apple Music.

A Japanese Mac site tested the latest EarPods USB-C with the latest iPhone 15. The buds play audio in lossless quality thanks to a built-in DAC that supports 48kHz. You’ll get the same quality audio out of Apple’s more expensive AirPods Max offering—though without spatial audio or active noise cancellation in the EarPods. Unlike the EarPods, the AirPods Max still use a lightning connector.

Apple may be going back to the drawing board with the AirPods Max design entirely for different reasons than dropping the lightning connector, though. While Apple has not addressed the issue publicly, AirPods Max owners have spoken loudly online about what’s been dubbed ‘Condensation Death’ among Max owners. What is condensation death?

Some users have noticed after wearing the AirPods Max for a lengthy time, the ear cups get extremely wet. They’re made almost entirely of metal, so condensation is forming either from sweat or humidity inside the ear cups. This liquid leaks through the speaker holes and may damage the headphone’s internal components—leading to them dying. Posts on the official Apple Community forums and reddit outline the issue.

“The general consensus among users is that the problem is that the ear cups are made of aluminum and that air flow into the cups is blocked while a user is wearing them. The aluminum stays cooler than the general air, which creates humidity and causes condensation,” a post on reddit outlining the issue reads.

Apple’s next AirPods Max design will definitely feature USB-C connections, but it might not be an all-metal design going forward.