Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

An Apple engineer addressed the lack of lossless audio support on second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview.

The current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple previously hinted that it might develop its own AirPlay-based encoding and connection standard that supports higher-quality audio streaming, but so far it has made no such move. ‌

‌Apple Music‌‌ offers lossless streaming at up to 24-bit and up to 48kHz, lossless high-resolution up to 192kHz and requires an external digital-to-analog converter.

In an interview with What is Hi-Fi? Apple engineer Esge Andersen, who works on the company’s audio team, said that Apple does not believe that current Bluetooth technology is a limiting factor in the sound quality of AirPods. Anderson added that even with current Bluetooth technology and codec standards, Apple can still make improvements in audio quality while the company’s focus remains on reliability.

Andersen remains shy, saying that while sound quality is always a priority, “it’s important to understand that we can still make huge strides without changing the codec. And our codec choice today, it’s more about reliability. So it’s about making Something powerful in all environments.”

“We want to drive audio quality forward, and we can do that with many other things. We don’t think the codec currently limits audio quality in Bluetooth products.”

During the interview, Anderson also gave an interesting insight into how Apple developed the new second generation AirPods Pro and how to check the sound quality. Anderson revealed that Apple has a panel of “audio experts” who provide feedback to Apple engineers on sound quality. “And at the end of the day, there’s some sort of compromise, because you can’t make it perfect for everyone yet,” he said.

One of the most important improvements with the new second generation AirPods Pro is better active noise cancellation. Apple says the ANC on the new AirPods Pro is up to 2x better than before. Anderson said Apple pushed for this major improvement because it wanted to “give everyone AirPods Max in their pocket.”

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