Apple’s VP of Acoustics: “We have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most out of the Bluetooth technology”

Gary Geaves discusses the limitations of Bluetooth where Apple’s Airpods are concerned.

Image: Apple

Apple VP of Acoustics Gary Geaves has commented on the limitations of BlueTooth technology on sound quality with the wry remark, “We’d like more bandwidth.”

Geaves, one of the key architects behind Apple’s hit earbuds, the AirPods, said in an interview with What Hi-Fi that while the tech giant has its ways of working around the limitations of BlueTooth, the technology remains a challenge for channelling high-quality audio to the listener.

“Obviously the wireless technology is critical for the content delivery that you talk about”, he told the portal, “but also things like the amount of latency you get when you move your head, and if that’s too long, between you moving your head and the sound changing or remaining static, it will make you feel quite ill, so we have to concentrate very hard on squeezing the most that we can out of the Bluetooth technology, and there’s a number of tricks we can play to maximise or get around some of the limits of Bluetooth.”

“But it’s fair to say that we would like more bandwidth and… I’ll stop right there. We would like more bandwidth.”

Geaves did not divulge any further details on how Apple intends to work around the limitations of BlueTooth.

He also talked about the process of fine-tuning the sound of the AirPods, saying, “We really understand that listening to music is an emotional experience which people connect with on a very deep level, so from the analytic tuning we work closely with an expert team of critical listeners and tuners.”

This expert team, many of whom Geaves says hail from the professional audio industry, continually refine the sound produced by the AirPods in order to convey music in the most pleasing way possible. Recognising the need to deliver music as it is intended to be heard, Geeves adds, “We respect music and the emotional impact that it can make and we want to deliver this natural experience”.