Apple Music might be a bastion of high-quality audio streaming thanks to its lossless quality offerings, but even Apple's premium AirPods Max can't deliver wireless lossless audio due to the constraints of Bluetooth, leaving the very best audio quality on the market for wired headphone users. Until now.
Swiss audio company HED Unity has today unveiled the world’s first wireless lossless audio headphones, powered by Wi-Fi to enable high-resolution audio streaming of up to 24bit/96kHz.
For reference, that's not quite the full experience of Apple Music's Hi-Res Lossless audio, which streams at a maximum resolution of 24-bit/192 kHz. But it is plenty of bandwidth for Apple's regular lossless audio streams which run at 24-bit/48 kHz. Bandwidth is only half the story, however, and the headphones will still need to work hard under the hood to turn that data into good sound, especially at the eye-watering price HED is demanding, but more on that later.
AirPods Max blown out of the water
These closed-back headphones have us asking why anyone would wait for AirPods Max 2. They even have Apple-esque aluminum parts sculpted around 40mm titanium-coated drivers to eliminate distortion at any volume. Those earcups are milled from a single block of architectural-grade aluminum, the kind that would make Jony Ive say "Oh Crikey" as the marmalade falls off his toast.
They have a frequency response range of 20Hz-22kHz, and as noted lossless audio is delivered thanks to Wi-Fi streaming, which HED refers to as Full-Fidelity.
The headphones are so potent they come with their own onboard dual-core processor, memory, and storage, as well as a gyroscope and other trackers to deliver head-tracking motion detection.
Of course, they also have active noise cancelation powered by 12 microphones.
They also offer Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and up to 8 hours of battery life streaming over either that or Hi-Res Wi-Fi.
The price for all this luxury is a staggering $2,199, and they can be picked up in
the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Italy, Austria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, and Portugal from getunity.com.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9