AirPods Pro 2 lossless audio feature might’ve leaked

The first AirPods Pro 2 rumor of the year is here from a trusted insider familiar with Apple’s plans. Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed the possible release date window for Apple’s upcoming handheld device and a couple of mentioned new features that were not available on previous models. And one of these two new rumored AirPods Pro 2 features is quite exciting: support for lossless audio in a pair of wireless earbuds. That’s something that isn’t available on any current AirPods model, including the first-generation AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro 2 release date

The so-called AirPods Pro 2 appeared in all kinds of rumors throughout 2021, along with the AirPods 3. Apple released AirPods 3 last year, of course. But rumors had it that the new Pro model wouldn’t launch until 2022.

The most recent leak of AirPods Pro 2 release date arrived mid december. One leaker said that Apple plans to release the AirPods Pro 2 in the third quarter of 2022. Apple’s iPhone 13 will be released in the third quarter of 2022, so that estimate makes sense.

Ming-Chi Kuo corroborated that estimate in his new Investor Investigation Note, which was viewed by 9to5Mac. On the same note, the analyst mentioned lossless audio support for AirPods Pro 2:

We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2 in 4Q22 with new selling points, including a new form factor design, Apple Lossless (ALAC) format support, and a charging case that can chirp for users. track. We are optimistic about the demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate that shipments will reach between 18 and 20 million units in 2022.

The AirPods Pro 2 leaks in October gave us the alleged AirPods Pro 2 case design below. At that point, we heard that the case will feature speakers on the bottom to allow you to play Find My sounds. Kuo seems to corroborate those leaks.

AirPods Pro 2 leak
A leaked image shows the supposed design of the AirPods Pro 2 case. Image source: MacRumors

Why Lossless Audio Support Is So Exciting

Most of the AirPods Pro 2 rumors last year teased a new design with reports saying the earbuds might not have a stem. Similarly, reports said that AirPods Pro 2 will include some sort of health-tracking features.

But support for lossless audio is an exciting new claim from AirPods Pro 2. That’s because it’s something that isn’t possible on any of Apple’s wireless earbuds or headphones, be they AirPods or Beats.

Apple Music already supports lossless audio, enhancing the listening experience. It is a file compression that preserves all the original data of the audio file, hence the designation “lossless”. But lossless audio files can be quite large. This means that you need more storage on Apple devices that support the standard. Or, if you are streaming your Apple Music, the lossless music files will consume more data.

This need for higher bandwidth is a problem for wireless headphones like the AirPods Pro 2. Bluetooth has to handle data transfer, and this is a problem that Apple’s vice president of acoustics, Gary Geaves, highlighted a few days ago in a What hi-fi interview.

Geaves emphasized the limitations of Bluetooth when it comes to data transfer. “It’s fair to say that we would like to have more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth, ”he said.

Has Apple figured out how to increase Bluetooth data transfer bandwidth so that it can provide lossless support for AirPods Pro 2? Or is Apple planning to use a new wireless standard? We will have to wait to find out. But there is a silver lining to all of this. Apple needs to develop a fast wireless technology that can handle more bandwidth for two other types of devices, the portless iPhone and the Apple VR / AR glasses that we continue to advance to. Perhaps the same technology can deliver lossless audio to all future AirPods and Beats devices.

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