Can I Listen to Lossless Audio with my TWS Earphones?
Ever since Apple announced that lossless audio is coming to Apple Music, there are several questions that people have been asking. What is lossless audio? How can you experience it? What will you need to experience it? Does it work via Bluetooth, and so on. One of the questions that a lot of folks want an answer to is whether you can listen to lossless audio with a pair of TWS earphones. TWS earphones have become hugely popular in the past few years due to the fact they’re convenient. If you own a pair of TWS earphones and are wondering if you can use them to play lossless audio, we’ll answer that question for you along with a reasonable explanation.
Will Lossless Audio Work with TWS Earphones?
Unfortunately, lossless audio is not supported via Bluetooth, which is the technology used by TWS earphones to connect and play music via your smartphone or computer. Even if you have Apple’s best pair of TWS earphones, the AirPods Pro, you will not be able to listen to lossless audio. Even premium TWS earphones from other brands like the Sony WF-1000XM4 don’t have the ability to play lossless audio. The simple reason for this is the limitation with Bluetooth and audio codecs.
When you play music on your phone via Bluetooth, there are certain codecs responsible for the audio transmission between your phone and the earphones. If you have an iPhone and a pair of AirPods Pro, Apple uses the AAC codec for this transmission. But AAC supports a maximum bitrate of 320kbps which is far from the 1,411kbps required for lossless audio transmission. Even if other pairs of TWS earphones use better codecs, none of them have support for FLAC or ALAC which are the codecs or formats required for lossless audio transmission.
However, there are a few pairs of TWS earphones that have support for Sony’s LDAC codec that have a bitrate of 990kbps and that’s the closest you can get to lossless audio via Bluetooth. TWS earphones like the Oppo Enco W51 and the newly launched Sony WF-1000XM4 have support for LDAC so you can experience close to lossless audio with these two pairs of TWS earphones.
Bluetooth, as a technology, just isn’t capable of transmitting a lot of data at such high speeds which is the reason for the lack of support for lossless audio transmission. Bluetooth works on the 2.4GHZ spectrum which is focused on short-range communication. That’s the reason why even audio transmission via LDAC is not perfect. You may experience jitters and overall an unstable experience with audio cutting off from time to time. The range is also quite poor with LDAC and it’s just not a very refined experience.
How to Listen to Lossless Audio
In order to play ALAC files (which will be the format on Apple Music), you’ll need to use a wired setup. Any pair of Bluetooth earphones or headphones, let alone TWS will not be able to help you experience lossless audio. We have a comprehensive list of all the accessories you’ll need to listen to lossless audio including dedicated DACs and wired IEMs or headphones which can help you get started.
If you want to stick to Bluetooth, here are our recommendations on the Best TWS around!