One of the most anticipated Apple products of 2022 is the second-generation AirPods Pro, which is
expected to bring a new design to the iconic high-end earbuds. But
a new report by Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac) claims that Apple might have an
even more exciting trick up its sleeve.
Kuo says Apple's next-generation AirPods, which are due to
arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022, will add support for the Apple Lossless (ALAC) format in Apple Music
that began rolling out in June, making them the first pair of
AirPods and one of the only true wireless earbuds to support the
higher-quality format. Apple previously brought lossless support to
the HomePod with the launch of iOS 15.1 but has been unable to
deliver lossless for AirPods due to the bandwidth limitations of
Delivering lossless audio to the AirPods Pro would require
technology able to increase the available bandwidth for streaming.
Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive, which was announced
in September, stitches together two proprietary technologies to
increase the data throughput required to handle lossless' 44.1kHz,
1,411 kbps bitrate:
To help deliver CD lossless audio quality reliably over
Bluetooth wireless technology, aptX Adaptive works in conjunction
with Qualcomm Bluetooth High Speed Link technology to help deliver
the required sustainable data throughput. Designed to work
seamlessly together, these technologies deliver rates beyond
1Mbit/s yet smoothly scale down to 140kbits/s in congested RF
environments to minimize any audio dropouts or glitches for a
consistent and reliable listening experience.
Apple will likely do something similar for the AirPods Pro. In
an interview with What Hi-Fi, VP of Acoustics Gary
Geaves said there's a number of tricks we can play to maximize or
get around some of the limits of Bluetooth.
Bringing lossless audio to the AirPods Pro would be one more
reason to buy a pair over the cheaper third-gen AirPods, along with
noise cancellation and Conversation Boost.