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regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

USB-C version of AirPods Pro supports lossless audio with the Apple Vision Pro

After the rush of announcements at Apple’s annual September event focused on the iPhone and Apple Watch

Mathures Paul Published 15.09.23, 08:45 AM
The new USB‑C connector offers even more flexibility when charging and allows users to charge AirPods directly with the iPhone 15 lineup.  

The new USB‑C connector offers even more flexibility when charging and allows users to charge AirPods directly with the iPhone 15 lineup.   Picture: Apple

After the rush of announcements at Apple’s annual September event focused on the iPhone and Apple Watch, there is always that one product that somehow escapes attention. This year, it’s AirPods Pro (USB-C version).

Sure, we heard that Apple has added USB-C charging capabilities (instead of Lightning connector) but more importantly, there is now the ability to do lossless audio wirelessly, which has never been experienced on the AirPods family.

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“The H2 chip in the latest AirPods Pro and Apple Vision Pro, combined with a groundbreaking wireless audio protocol, unlocks powerful 20-bit, 48 kHz Lossless Audio with a massive reduction in audio latency,” the company’s note mentions.
Usually, high-resolution audio comes in at 24-bit / 48kHz, so the new addition is slightly short on the bit depth. Otherwise, it’s quite an important announcement.

There is a small catch: For the moment it only works when paired with the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset. What that means is Apple is focussing on lossless for entertainment and gaming purposes; not just for pure music listening sessions.

“When Apple Vision Pro is available early next year in the US, customers will be able to enjoy the most advanced wireless audio experience in the industry with the new AirPods Pro for exceptional entertainment, gaming, FaceTime calls, and so much more,” says the company.

Since only the new USB-C powered AirPods Pro (2nd generation) will support the feature, and not last year’s version, there could be some more technical updates under the hood to allow lossless audio capability.

All AirPods Pro (2nd generation) get new features and capabilities with iOS 17. The list includes Adaptive Audio, which is a new listening mode that dynamically blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation, adjusting the noise control based on the sound in a user’s environment.

“The breakthrough experience, unlocked by advanced computational audio, allows users to stay aware of their surroundings while distracting noises are reduced.”

The list also has Conversation Awareness. When a user begins speaking to someone nearby, Conversation Awareness helps to lower the content volume, enhance the voices in front of the user, and reduce background noise.

Third, Personalised Volume. It uses machine learning to understand environmental conditions and volume selections to automatically fine-tune the listening experience for users based on their preferences over time.

The new AirPods Pro has been designed keeping sustainability in mind. It includes the use of 100 per cent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets and 100 per cent recycled gold in the plating of multiple printed circuit boards. The case also uses 100 per cent recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board and 100 per cent recycled aluminium in the hinge.

The device will be available for
Rs 24,900 starting September 22.

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