Apple engineer details how the company improved the audio quality of AirPods Pro 2 without Lossless

Apple engineer details how the company improved the audio quality of AirPods Pro 2 without Lossless


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Apple this year released the second generation AirPods Pro, and while it brings a lot of improvements, Apple’s new wireless earbuds still lack Lossless audio support. However, according to an Apple engineer, the company has been focusing on other ways to provide high-quality audio on AirPods without the need for the Lossless codec.

Apple acoustics team engineer Esge Andersen was interviewed by What Hi-Fi (via MacRumors). Andersen, who has worked at Apple for over 11 years, gave his insight into the development of the AirPods Pro 2 and answered questions about why Apple’s AirPods still don’t have Lossless support.

According to the engineer, Apple wanted to “give everyone AirPods Max in their pocket” with AirPods Pro 2. Of course, AirPods Pro are much more compact than AirPods Max, so it requires a lot of engineering work to make the earbuds sound as good as Apple’s over-ear headphones. Although the design of the AirPods Pro 2 is almost identical to the previous one, the microphones and vents have been repositioned to optimize the airflow for the driver.

Now, instead of two vents, AirPods Pro 2 has only one vent at the back of each earbud, Thanks to the new venting system, the new AirPods Pro reach cleaner highs and deeper bass. Engineers have also optimized the airflow for better excursion, as any interference in the airflow can distort the sound.

Why AirPods Pro 2 still lack Lossless?

Many AirPods users were upset that Apple didn’t introduce Lossless support with the second generation AirPods Pro. For those unfamiliar, Lossless codecs have minimal or no compression, which means you can hear high-fidelity sound. Even though Apple Music has a catalog with millions of Lossless songs, there are no AirPods models that are compatible with such codec.

For Andersen, however, there are other ways to provide high-quality sound without changing the audio codec used by the AirPods. The engineer said that Apple has made “big striders” with AirPods Pro 2 even without Lossless audio, and that the decision to keep with the AAC codec is “more about reliability.”

Andersen also mentioned that Bluetooth technology is not a limitation for delivering high-quality audio.

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.

Audio codecs capable of streaming higher bitrate audio over Bluetooth already exist, such as Sony’s LDAC and aptX, but Apple has never shown interest in bringing them to AirPods. Still, Andersen told What Hi-Fi that “Apple is always open to change.”

More about 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 is priced at $249 in the US, although you can find it for lower prices at other stores like Amazon.

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November 25, 2022 at 06:38AM

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