AirPods 2 mic quality

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by coldwaves, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. coldwaves macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #1
    When using the microphone on the first generation AirPods on a Mac, macOS automatically change the codec from AAC to SOC, which reduce the audio quality quite a bit and it is fairly noticeable. As I understand, this is primary due to the bandwidth limit of Bluetooth 4.

    Does AirPods 2 suffer from the same issue? In other words, when the mic on AirPods is used, does it switch to SOC codec and thus decrease audio quality consequently? AirPods 2 has "Hi Siri" so I suppose the mic is always active. Plus AirPods 2 has bluetooth 5.0. I am wondering if these solve the audio quality when using the mic.
     
  2. iMacDragon macrumors 68000

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    No difference in codec use, the mic may be always active but it's only transmitting to phone when it recognises a command
     
  3. winterny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #3
    If you option-click the speaker menuitem, you can set the input device to be the microphone built in to your mac, or your webcam, or whatever, and continue to use airpods for speakers, and this will keep AAC.

    That's what I do for conference calls.
     
  4. coldwaves thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for this suggestion. Yeah, I know this is a workaround for the codec issue. But I particularly want to use the mic on the AirPods. This is so that I can move around and do errands when FaceTime with my family. It appears the codec use is the same. I will probably pass this generation of AirPods as well.
     
  5. winterny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #5
    I don't know if there's a way to check the codec when using the airpods on the iPhone, but it seems to be that the sound codec when using Facetime Audio on my iPhone is probably AAC, as it sounds better than it does on the Mac.

    Not sure if that's helpful to you or not.

    I agree, the SCO codec on the Mac with the airpods sounds absolutely terrible.
     
  6. coldwaves thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for the insights. I remember when using mic on the first generation AirPods, sound quality appears to be better on iPhone than on the Mac. The MacBook I was using was the mid 2015 MBP and it only has Bluetooth 4.2 but the iPhone 8 has Bluetooth 5.0. I was wondering if the Bluetooth version is the reason for the codec choice.

    Which Mac did you use the AirPods with? Does the Mac has Bluetooth 5.0?
     
  7. winterny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #7
    2018 15" Touchbar Macbook Pro with Bluetooth 5.0
     
  8. coldwaves thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the reply. OK, it seems Bluetooth 5.0 is not going to help with the codec switching and sound quality issue when using the mic.
     

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7 March 28, 2019