Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Ming-Chi Kuo: Second-Generation AirPods Pro to Support Lossless Audio

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro will feature support for Lossless audio and a charging case that can emit a sound for location tracking purposes, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the second-generation AirPods Pro will feature new selling points that will lead to strong demand, including support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio and a charging case that users can trigger a sound from to highlight its location.

The first thought which occurred to me is the undertaking required to replace a metre or two of wire. Just last month, Apple’s vice president of acoustics said in an interview that Bluetooth’s bandwidth was an impediment to supporting lossless audio in AirPods. It seems that a different standard or perhaps a proprietary protocol will be needed to enable the same quality of playback in a wireless headphone that I achieve today through a physical connection.

But then it occurred to me how strange it is that I am able to wirelessly transmit lossless audio until I need to transfer it the short distance between my device and my ears. I can stream it over a cellular connection, or download lossless files to my Mac and sync them to my iPhone over Wi-Fi, but a cable is needed for playback. For now, anyway.