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Second-Gen AirPods Pro Don’t Appear to Support Lossless Audio

Despite their new H2 chip and improved audio quality, Apple’s new AirPods Pro do not appear to include support for lossless Apple Music audio—a rumored capability of the upgraded chip.

As MacRumors points out(Opens in a new window), Apple’s press release and tech specs for the next-generation earbuds make no mention of the function, instead touting features like improved noise cancellation, personalized spatial audio, and precise location finding.

In our hands on with the new AirPods Pro at Apple’s Wednesday event, PCMag’s Tim Gideon said it was surprising that Apple didn’t announce any new audio codec that would rise to the level of lossless or near lossless/hi-res playback.

airpods pro 2

(Credit: Tim Gideon)

“We’ve tested other in-ears this year that not only offer lossless/hi-res codec support, but can stream Apple Music’s lossless audio in hi-res. Guess what can’t do this? Any AirPods,” he writes. “Maybe there’s a development in the making that might be announced at a later point, but for now, it seems it’s just AAC and SBC—and for the company that runs one of the best lossless streaming services, it’s a head-scratcher.”

Apple Music last year got a boost from the addition of hi-res lossless audio, which tops out at 24-bit/192kHz. The feature (currently available for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K, and Android devices), of course, requires compatible headphones to enjoy the full non-compressed effect. And that doesn’t include AirPods Pro 2.

Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

The tech giant on Wednesday launched a handful of new products, including the iPhone 14, fresh Apple Watch models, and its second-gen AirPods Pro—the latter arrives Sept. 23 for $249.

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Users may not be able to stream hi-res sound, but they can personalize the spatial audio experience with iOS 16 and the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera. Apple is also throwing in extra-small ear tips for folks who struggle to keep their AirPods in place.

Apple also boasts twice the noise cancellation, capacitive touch controls, and up to six hours of listening on a single charge—a 33% increase over the original AirPods Pro and their 4.5-hour battery. The matching case, which charges wirelessly via an Apple Watch or MagSafe accessory, includes another 30 hours of use, as well as a built-in speaker in case you lose it.

Pre-order the new earbuds starting Sept. 9. For more, check out the video below:

PCMag Logo Hands On With the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

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