Now that 3rd generation AirPods offer some of the same features as AirPods Pro, how will Apple make advanced wireless earbuds? By improving the sound quality, it seems. according to 9to5MacWell-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is launching the second generation of AirPods Pro in the fall with Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC) support. There’s no mention of support for other lossless formats, unfortunately, but a rumored upgrade will at least ensure that you can listen to Apple Music (and locally stored ALAC songs) without compromising on quality.
Kuo also expects the updated AirPods Pro to introduce a “new form factor design.” You might not have to worry too much if you lose your earbuds, either — they’re supposed to include a charging case that can make sounds, much like AirTags. You may just need to “connect” your buds to find them on the sidewalk.
It is not certain if or how Apple will support its lossless format due to limitations of the Bluetooth data pipes. However, Company Acoustics Vice President Gary Jeffs recently said what hi fi In an interview, his team “wants more bandwidth,” raising the possibility of a new technology. Apple won’t necessarily augment or replace wireless standards like Bluetooth, but it can develop an aptX Lossless style codec to make wireless ALAC viable.
No matter how accurate Kuo is, we won’t count on losing support just yet. The alleged launch is still several months away, and Apple may cancel or delay plans. With that said, an upgrade strategy like this would make sense. While the AirPods Pro still have features like active noise cancellation and silicone ear tips, the latest standard AirPods are much closer in terms of sound quality and features (like spatial audio) while offering longer battery life. Current Professionals are only really good value when you find them for sale. Loss-free music, a new design, and a smarter case can help justify a higher price tag.
All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independently of the parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.