This year, Apple released the second generation AirPods Pro, and although it brings a lot of improvements, Apple’s new wireless earphones still lack support for lossless audio. However, according to an Apple engineer, the company is focusing on other ways to provide high-quality audio on AirPods without the need for a Lossless codec.
Esge Andersen interviews Apple’s audio engineer What is Hi-Fi? (Across Mac rumors). Andersen, who has worked at Apple for more than 11 years, provided his insights into the development of the AirPods Pro 2 and answered questions about why Apple’s AirPods lack Lossless support.
According to the engineer, Apple wanted to “give everyone an AirPods Max in their pocket” with the AirPods Pro 2. Of course, the AirPods Pro are smaller than the AirPods Max, so it takes a lot of engineering work to make the earphones sound as good as Apple’s earbuds. Although the design of the AirPods Pro 2 is almost identical to the previous one, the position of the microphones and air vents has been repositioned to improve airflow for the driver.
Now, instead of two holes, the AirPods Pro 2 only have one air vent on the back of each earbud, and thanks to the new ventilation system, the new AirPods Pro reach for higher, cleaner highs and deeper bass. Engineers also optimized the airflow for a better ride, because any interference with the airflow can distort the sound.
Why do AirPods Pro 2 still lack Lossless?
Many AirPods users were upset that Apple did not provide lossless support with the second generation AirPods Pro. For those unfamiliar, lossless codecs have little or no compression, which means you can hear higher fidelity audio. Although Apple Music has a catalog of millions of lossless songs, there are no AirPods models that are compatible with this codec.
For Andersen, there are other ways to provide higher-quality audio without changing the audio codec used by the AirPods. The engineer said that Apple has made “big strides” with the AirPods Pro 2 even without lossless audio, and that the decision to stick with the AAC codec is “more about reliability.”
Andersen also mentioned that Bluetooth is not a limitation in delivering high quality audio.
We want to push sound quality forward, and we can do that with many other items. We don’t think the codec is currently the limitation of audio quality in Bluetooth products.
Audio codecs capable of streaming higher-bitrate audio over Bluetooth already exist, such as Sony’s LDAC and aptX, but Apple has never expressed interest in bringing them to the AirPods. However, Anderson said What is Hi-Fi? that “Apple is always open to change.”
More on AirPods Pro 2
In addition to improved sound quality, the second generation AirPods Pro feature improved noise cancellation and an updated charging case with Find My support. It’s priced at $249 in the US, though you can find it for less on other stores like Amazon.
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