An Apple engineer has addressed the AirPods Pro 2’s lack of support for lossless audio in a new interview. The current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods series does not support Apple Music Lossless Audio. Apple has previously indicated that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard, built on top of AirPlay and supporting higher-quality audio streaming. So far, however, these words have not been followed by deeds.
Apple Music offers 24-bit lossless streaming up to 48kHz and High-Res lossless streaming up to 192kHz. An external digital-to-analog converter is required. In an interview with What Hi-Fi? Apple engineer Esge Andersen from the company’s acoustics team said Apple doesn’t believe current Bluetooth technology is a limiting factor in the AirPods’ audio quality. Anderson added that even with current Bluetooth technology and codec standards, Apple can still make improvements in audio quality. However, the focus of the company stays on reliability.
According to Andersen, while audio quality is always a priority, but:
“it is important to understand that we can still make big strides without changing the codec. And the codec choice we have there today, it’s more about reliability. So it’s about making something robust in all environments. […] We want to push the sound quality forward, and we can do that with a lot of other elements. We don’t think that the codec currently is the limitation of audio quality on Bluetooth products.”Esge Andersen, Apple audio engineer
During the interview, Anderson also offered an interesting insight into the development of the new second generation AirPods Pro and how Apple validates the sound quality. Anderson revealed that Apple has a panel of sound experts who provide audio quality feedback to Apple engineers. “And at the end of the day, there is somewhat of a compromise, because you can’t make it perfect for everybody yet”.
One of the most significant improvements in the new second-gen AirPods Pro is better active noise cancellation. According to Apple, ANC works up to two times better than before on the new AirPods Pro. With this, Apple wants to “to give everybody an AirPods Max in their pocket”.