Five Benefits Bluetooth LE Audio Would Have for Next-Generation AirPods Pro

In 2020, Bluetooth 5.2 was introduced with support for a new LE Audio specification. At least two Apple employees are listed as participants in the development of LE Audio, and Apple is likely to adopt the specification for use in future devices.

AirPods Pro
According to a newly published filing in the Bluetooth SIG database, Apple recently had an unknown component with Bluetooth 5.3 support tested. The filing does not reveal any other notable details, but along with a similar filing last month, it suggests that Apple is preparing for future devices with Bluetooth versions that support LE Audio.

Bluetooth SIG Apple Bluetooth 5 3 Filing
LE Audio would be particularly beneficial for AirPods, such as the second-generation AirPods Pro rumored to launch later this year. Below, we've outlined five benefits that LE Audio would have for future AirPods Pro, assuming that source devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac are also upgraded with support for the specification in the future.

  • Improved audio quality: LE Audio includes a new low-power audio codec called LC3 that provides improved audio quality compared to the classic SBC codec, even at a 50% lower bit rate, according to the Bluetooth SIG.
  • Longer battery life: With the low-power LC3 audio codec, future AirPods Pro would have longer battery life for audio playback.
  • Multi-stream audio: LE Audio would enable the transmission of multiple synchronized audio streams between a source device like an iPhone or Mac and the AirPods Pro. This would allow for an individual left and right AirPod to each have its own Bluetooth audio connection with a device supporting LE Audio for improved reliability.
  • Connect many pairs of AirPods to an iPhone at once: LE Audio would allow for many pairs of AirPods to directly connect to a future iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other device and play audio simultaneously. Apple already has a feature that allows an iPhone or iPad user with AirPods to share audio with another person with AirPods, but the feature does not work with more than two pairs of AirPods.
  • No switching between iPhone and Mac required: LE Audio would allow AirPods to connect to multiple source devices like an iPhone and Mac simultaneously, eliminating the need to switch the AirPods between devices.

In July, the Bluetooth SIG said it anticipates availability of products with support for LE Audio to ramp up by the end of 2022.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: AirPods

Top Rated Comments

Bradjc1 Avatar
5 weeks ago

What about safety! Aka Radiation ☢️ how less safer are these compared to the old technology. Cancer? Tumors
And will they include a tin foil hat in the box or will we need to purchase separately?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrRom92 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Bluetooth LE simply isn’t enough. It can’t even do lossless standard resolution audio, let alone even dream of doing anything at the high-resolutions offered by Apple Music now. AirPods are not worth getting until they can reliably do bit-perfect 16/44.1 at the very least.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
asdex Avatar
5 weeks ago

Most radiation is non-ionizing beyond a certain distance. For example, Wi-Fi routers are only ionizing within like 6 inches. Bluetooth is ionizing at such a small distance and such a low level that it is meaningless.

There’s a whole bunch of rules around what power and frequency your waves can be that are set by the FCC for safety reasons.

The reason 5G has lots of smaller towers is partially because it would be unsafe for there to be a super powerful 5G radio, because within the first X meters, it would be ionizing.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand the complexity, and they think more towers = more radiation = cancer…. Or they don’t realize that the frequencies and power levels are chosen to be safe at the distances the products are used.

That being said, there is some SMALL, and I mean VERY SMALL evidence that phones might be ionizing within about 2mm while on a phone call. This has led to some recommendations to hold the phone SLIGHTLY away from your face. But truly, even if it was ionizing, the distance would be so short that you’re probably being exposed to more ionizing radiation from the Sun on a daily basis.

In short, don’t worry about it. The sun is a bigger radiation danger than any electronics you are using.
Sorry for chiming in here, but the ionization capability of a certain type of radiation is not a function of its traveling distance (nor its intensity), it's exclusively a function of its frequency or more specifically, a function of the energy of each single quantum/photon. For a photon to have an ionizing effect on matter, it must have a sufficiently high frequency (translating to a sufficiently low wavelength). “Sufficient” depends to a certain degree on the type of atom/molecule subject to radiation (some species of atoms/molecules are ionized at lower frequencies than others). The lower threshold for ionization is given by the mid to high UV spectrum range. Every type of radiation above is able to ionize matter (e.g. X-rays, gamma rays, particles from radioactive decay), everything below is not.

WiFi, Bluetooth, microwaves and other low-frequency electromagnetic radiation is NOT able to ionize matter (knocking out electrons from shells) of any kind including living tissue, not even within the first few millimeters, since their respective photons do not exhibit a sufficient energy to do that. They merely are able to excite the electronic (atoms, molecules) as well as vibrational and rotational (molecules) energy levels of the exposed matter. Thus, they certainly are able to deposit energy into the tissue which leads to thermal (and non-thermal) effects on it and this is the subject of ongoing research in terms of radiation hazards to human tissue.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoogH Avatar
5 weeks ago

What about safety! Aka Radiation ☢️ how less safer are these compared to the old technology. Cancer? Tumors
These are non-ionizing radiation. They cannot cause cancer unless they cause heat burns. You would know if that was happening.

Edited: I changed my original post, as I was spreading false information about how ionizing radiation can function.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
5 weeks ago
Really sounds like Apple should have held the $549 AirPods Max until this was ready. This is everything we wanted in AirPods Max and so far it’s rumored that Apple hasn’t even started on AirPods Max 2.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
5 weeks ago

What about safety! Aka Radiation ☢️ how less safer are these compared to the old technology. Cancer? Tumors
Aren’t these signals all non-ionizing radiation? Am I missing something?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

airpods pro 2

iPhone 14 and New AirPods Pro Support Bluetooth 5.3, Status of LE Audio Unclear

Wednesday September 7, 2022 7:40 pm PDT by
All four new iPhone 14 models and the second-generation AirPods Pro include support for Bluetooth 5.3, according to Apple's tech specs for each device, but the status of LE Audio support for the devices remains unclear at this time. LE Audio, which can be supported on any device with Bluetooth 5.2 or higher, is a low-power audio streaming specification that would have several benefits for...
airpods pro black background

What to Expect From AirPods Pro 2 at Tomorrow's Apple Event

Tuesday September 6, 2022 5:45 am PDT by
Apple reportedly plans to introduce the second-generation AirPods Pro alongside the iPhone 14 during a special event at Steve Jobs Theater this Wednesday. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of new features and improvements that have been rumored so far. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will ...
airpods pro black background

Apple Seemingly Preparing for Devices With Bluetooth 5.2, Which Could Hint at AirPods Pro With LE Audio

Wednesday August 24, 2022 11:25 am PDT by
Apple appears to be preparing for future devices with Bluetooth 5.2 support, according to a filing in the Bluetooth SIG products database earlier this month. Among other possibilities, this could serve as evidence of future AirPods Pro with LE Audio support. Apple's filing references a Bluetooth 5.3 host subsystem that is likely intended for future products. However, in actuality, the filing ...
airpods pro in case

Don't Buy AirPods Pro Right Now: AirPods Pro 2 Imminent

Saturday August 27, 2022 3:00 am PDT by
The AirPods Pro launched over 1,000 days ago and are the oldest current-generation Apple device still on sale. With a new model believed to be on the brink of announcement by Apple, customers should now hold off on purchasing AirPods Pro until the new model arrives. Apple announced the AirPods Pro on Monday, October 28, 2019. The earbuds went on sale immediately and orders started arriving...
airpods pro

All the New Features the H2 Chip Brings to the AirPods Pro 2

Wednesday September 7, 2022 1:46 pm PDT by
Apple today introduced the second-generation AirPods Pro, which are equipped with an all-new H2 chip. The H2 is the successor to the H1, and it enables new features like improved noise cancellation, a new transparency mode, and better sound. Active Noise Cancellation - The H2 chip in the AirPods Pro 2 cancels twice as much noise compared to the original AirPods Pro. Adaptive...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
airpods pro 2

New AirPods Pro Do Not Support Lossless Apple Music

Wednesday September 7, 2022 2:31 pm PDT by
The new AirPods Pro, despite featuring an all-new H2 chip and improved audio quality, do not appear to include support for lossless Apple Music audio. The H2 chip is the successor to the previous H1 chip and delivers new features like improved Active Noise Cancellation, an improved Transparency mode, and better sound overall. One rumored new capability of the new chip was that it would...
airpods pro 2

AirPods Pro 2 Tidbits: Heavier Charging Case, Lanyards Sold Separately, and More

Thursday September 8, 2022 10:15 am PDT by
Apple this week introduced second-generation AirPods Pro with improved audio quality, longer battery life, up to 2x as much noise cancellation as the original AirPods Pro, a revamped charging case with Find My support and water resistance, a new extra small ear tip option, the ability to swipe up and down on the stem to adjust volume, and more. In addition to these major new features, there...

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...