Apple might be gearing up to introduce a new pair of AirPods Pro with lossless audio support, that is if a new investors note from Ming-Chi Kuo (quoted by 9to5Mac and AppleInsider) is to be believed. According to the note, the company’s next version of its highest-end wireless earbuds will be able to playback lossless music files, as well as make some sort of noise if you misplace your AirPods.
We expect Apple to launch AirPods Pro 2 in 4Q22 with new selling points, including a new form factor design, support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) format, and a charging case that can emit a sound for users to track. We are optimistic about the demand for AirPods Pro 2 and estimate shipments will reach 18–20mn units in 2022.
Supporting any sort of lossless audio file on Bluetooth speakers or headphones has proven to be a nearly impossible feat, but it seems Apple might be able to pull it off by playing with the bandwidth it needs to accomplish it. In an interview with What HiFi, Apple’s VP of Acoustics Gary Geaves toyed with the idea of gobbling up more bandwidth and squeezing everything it could out of a Bluetooth connection to maximize sound quality.
“Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about,” he says, “but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximize or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth. But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth”, he smiles.
The other part of Kuo’s note involves a new case that can make a noise if you ever lose it. The Find My app on iOS can already ping your AirPods to make a noise if you misplace them,, but the case remains silent. That could change with the next generation of AirPods Pro, but we’ll have to wait and see if that pans out.
Given the fact Kuo said “4Q22” in his note, it’s safe to assume we’ll have to wait a while before we actually see the new AirPods debut. Until then, expect more leaks leading up to their potential announcement in the fall.