A realistic method earlier this month in the Bluetooth SIG products database suggests that Apple is getting ready for upcoming devices that support Bluetooth 5.2. This might show that future AirPods Pro will enable LE Audio, among other things.
A Bluetooth 5.3 host subsystem is mentioned in Apple’s file and is most likely meant for the next products. For unknown reasons, the Bluetooth versions indicated in Apple’s submissions to the database are frequently one version number higher than the version that ultimately ends up being supported on a device. As a result, it is likely that the entry refers to Bluetooth 5.2.
According to reviews of the headphones, the Beats Studio Buds are classified as Bluetooth 5.3 even though they actually support Bluetooth 5.2, while various iPhone and iPad versions are listed as Bluetooth 5.1 even though they both support Bluetooth 5.0.
Leaving aside the confusion over version numbers, Apple’s adoption of Bluetooth 5.2 would be particularly advantageous for AirPods because the specification includes support for LE Audio and makes many enhancements to wireless audio streaming.
The Bluetooth LE low-energy standard includes LE Audio. The Verge reports that advantages of LE Audio for wireless headphones like AirPods may include better audio quality, longer battery life, the capacity to connect more than two pairs of Airpods to a single iPhone, and the capacity for each left and right AirPod to have its own Bluetooth connection to an iPhone in order to prevent desynchronization during audio playback.
According to a statement made by the Bluetooth SIG in July, the availability of products that support LE Audio is expected to increase by the end of 2022. By year’s end, Apple is anticipated to release the second-generation AirPods Pro, but it is unknown if they will feature Bluetooth 5.2 or LE Audio. The Beats Studio Buds already support Bluetooth 5.2, so it is unclear if Apple would add LE Audio functionality with a firmware upgrade.