Apple Music and Apple AirPods are supposed to be a heavenly match. But even though the music streaming service has full-fledged high-fidelity audio support, none of the AirPods can take proper advantage of it. Not even the AirPods Pro 2!
Yes, AirPods Max can playback music in lossless mode. But you need to use an optional wire for that. And Apple cautions that the audio “will not be completely lossless” even if you use the optional wire.
Seeing all these, many users question why Apple held back on lossless audio support on their latest and greatest, the AirPods Pro 2. Well, Esge Andersen, an Apple engineer who has been with the team for 11 years, came forward to answer.
Apple Wants AirPods Pro 2 to Be Reliable
In an interview with What HiFi?, Esge Andersen stated, “It is important to understand that we can still make big strides without changing the codec.” He added, “And the codec choice we have there today, it’s more about reliability. So it’s about making something robust in all environments.”
It is worth noting that many Bluetooth high-bitrate audio streaming codecs are available now. For example, there are aptX from Qualcomm and LDAC from Sony. But according to the statements of Esge Andersen, it seems like Apple does not find these codecs reliable. And that is why Apple did not include any of them in the AirPods Pro 2.
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Apple AirPods Boasts In-House Technologies
All Apple AirPods use the AAC format. That includes the AirPods Pro 2. Even though these wireless headphones support SBC, Apple prefers and recommends its AAC format. So, you could say that Apple will probably not offer a lossless audio option unless it’s through their own codec. And Apple doesn’t have one that is suitable for its wireless headphones. That’s why AirPods Pro 2 did not launch with lossless audio streaming support.
Audio Quality of the AirPods Does Not Only Depend on the Codec
Esge Andersen mentioned, “We want to push the sound quality forward, and we can do that with a lot of other elements.” He further stated, “We don’t think that the codec currently is the limitation of audio quality on Bluetooth products.” This statement hints that Apple is looking for ways to improve the sound quality of AirPods without developing a new codec.
Apple AirPods Pro 2: Is It for Audiophiles?
The elephant of the room is, what is the take of the audiophiles in this regard? Well, audiophiles never settled for less. For example, Spotify made a big announcement about its lossless audio tier. But it has not made any advancements since last year. And for this reason, most audiophiles rely on Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music HD, and Tidal HiFi.
Likewise, audiophiles who are not happy with the performance of the AirPods Pro 2 and Max are using alternatives in order to get their high-bitrate music fix. And from Anderson’s statements, it seems things will be like this for a good while.