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.

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Top Rated Comments

Bradjc1 Avatar
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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
10 months 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)