October 6, 2022

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Bloomberg: Apple unveils the new generation of AirPods Pro on Wednesday – vision and sound – news

… they use AAC and have a good app that can keep high bit rates (256 kbit/s) quite well, as Android can be configured to lower the quality a bit to save battery.

Most third-party headphones do not support AAC, but most Android devices – although that may change – do not support AAC. Apple (Eva) does not support AptX or AptX HD because this is from Qualcomm not LDAC because this is in AOSP which is from Sony. In practice, it often returns to the quality of SBC, which is not enough for HiFi.

Apple has never had another “bluetooth variant”.

So the above was just a quick response. Strictly speaking, it’s actually not part of Bluetooth itself, but the audio compression protocol that is sent over Bluetooth is different. The articles above by soundguys, nextpit, etc. also call them Bluetooth codecs because they are (almost) only used for Bluetooth transmission. What matters is that you
1) With Apple’s Airpods on most Android devices, you don’t get good sound quality because Apple refuses to support LDAC and AptX (and its variants), so you have to refer to SBC.
2) With non-Apple headphones, you’ll never get good sound quality on an Apple device – unless the earbuds manufacturer (such as AKG, JBL (same parent company), Beats, SkullCandy, and Bose) pays Apple for a license to AAC, most of them don’t because AptX is free and there are many Android users.

What it does is exactly how fake news reaches the world. You are just making up something and attributing it to Apple without any evidence.

See my area above. The article you quoted is an Apple fan article that contains a lot of half-truths.

Another problem is that audio always arrives in AAC via Spotify, for example, which means you get double encoding with SBC and that makes Spotify a good choice on Android AAC as well. Less loss.

As I mentioned, most Android devices don’t support AAC and if you have a device that supports it, your earphones don’t. However, for many people, SBC is enough because they don’t hear the difference because of background noise on a train, bus, etc. or because they themselves are getting older. Spotify’s sound quality is also suitable for them on Android – after all, Spotify is free – sufficient, even the sound quality of cassettes was sufficient at that time (therefore they replaced tape drives and even record players), it’s all about ease of use.

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Article from Android Authority writes up
There are even some limitations to wired playback if you’re using AirPods Max with a Lightning-to-3.5mm cable and Lightning audio adapter, due to data loss during the digitization process. Only a direct TRRS connection can transmit 24-bit / 48 kHz audio and more.
As I said, this is not necessary for earphones, etc., because LLAC, LHDC, LDAC, AAC and AptX (especially the HD version) are definitely enough, they change only when connecting high-quality speakers, but even then usually the user’s ears is the limiting factor.

AirPods Max are not earphones.

Well, these are full-fledged headphones, but the point remains. Even high-end headphones* that cost several times the cost of an AirPod Max — and are connected to a 6.3mm TRRS or jack plug — wouldn’t sound better with uncompressed audio than at 256 kbit/s except for a sheer bit of hearing that didn’t hit the age of 30.
* More expensive than Sennheisertjes and Grado’s Tweakers pricewatch Erection.