Apple VP says AirPods would benefit from ‘more bandwidth’ than Bluetooth provides


The third generation of AirPods debuted in October, bringing with it a revamped design, spatial audio and more.

Now, Gary Greaves, Apple’s vice president of acoustics, has spoken to What HiFi to reflect on the company’s latest headphones. While the conversation touched on several subjects, what was perhaps most notable was when Bluetooth came up.

When asked whether Bluetooth was “holding back” the AirPods hardware and “stifling sound quality,” Greaves gave a diplomatic but revealing answer.

“Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about, but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximize or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth. But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth.” 

Beyond that, Greaves and Apple Product Marketing Team’s Eric Treski spoke at length about the general design of the AirPods 3, which Graves says uses custom-made components.

They also discussed Adaptive EQ, which adjusts audio in real-time depending on the AirPods fit in the user’s ear. This feature was introduced with the AirPods Pro and included with the AirPods 3.

The full Apple AirPods team interview can be found on WhatHiFi‘s site.

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