I well remember the disappointment of AirPods owners when they were told that their headphones would not support high-res tracks from Apple Music. Most were simply unaware that this limitation applies not only to AirPods, but to all wireless headphones in general. There were at least two reasons for this: the low bandwidth of the Bluetooth protocol and the low autonomy of the headphones themselves. But it was at least unreasonable on Apple’s part. play lossless tracks and advise your users to buy equipment for their listening somewhere on the side.
Since Bluetooth technology does not allow broadcasting Lossless music on wireless headphones, in Cupertino decided to go around. To ensure that future generations of AirPods can play tracks in high quality, Apple engineers have developed their own audio signal transmission technology. It is described in a patent that the company filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year.
How to listen to Lossless on AirPods – what you need
Unlike the Bluetooth protocol, which broadcasts a digital signal, Apple’s own technology is optical (over-the-air optical signal), that is, it has a higher bandwidth and allows you to transmit high definition sound. Another question, will it work with the iPhone? Because none of the modern iPhone models support this technology.
Unfortunately, smartphones are hardly mentioned in the patent, only very, very indirectly. But the transmission of sound in high resolution from a special headset to headphones is quite unambiguously described. Her role is played AR/VR glasses. The very ones that, according to rumors, Apple is about to present to us. In very simple terms, signal processing will take place at the power of the headset, and its result will be broadcast on AirPods.
By itself, Not all AirPods will fit, but only those that support the new technology. In order for the headphones to receive an optical signal, they must be equipped with a special receiver. After all, the technology itself is completely different from Bluetooth. One of its features is a small radius of action. Apple does not specify at what distance the signal will be broadcast, but apparently, the score goes not even to meters, but to centimeters. However, if listen to music through headphones in the headset, then there will be no problems with this.
What will be the AirPods Pro 2
So, with the hardware nature, it seems to be more or less sorted out. But how will Apple achieve the preservation of the former battery life from AirPodsthat are forced to receive an optical signal? The answer to this question is not contained in the patent. Moreover, Apple even misleads us by demonstrating headphones without arms, which traditionally house batteries. Of course, it is unlikely that the company would have exposed the real AirPods Pro 2 designbut there are rumors that the new headphones will lose the temples.
While this is not confirmed information, but a number of industry experts adhere to this point of view. They predict AirPods Pro second generation design in the style of Galaxy Buds. That is, these will be earplugs without a protruding part, the body of which will be almost completely hidden in the auricle. This is a more sporty option, which is not subject to arbitrary falls, because the headphones are held not only by the ear cushions, but also by the pressure of the ear cartilages on the case.
Of course, there are no guarantees that optical sound transmission technology will appear in AirPods Pro 2. However, Apple’s vice president of acoustics, Gary Geeves, has long hinted that Bluetooth does not allow to reveal the full potential company wireless headphones. According to him, Cupertino is looking for ways to achieve more bandwidth, and are working on it right now. It is clear that the patent we have described today is part of this larger project.