Our favourite true wireless earbuds could be in line for an aptX HD Bluetooth upgrade. According to The Walkman Blog (opens in new tab), Sony's five-star WF-1000XM3s briefly appeared on Qualcomm's aptX website, described as being 'aptX HD enabled'.
Unless the appearance was a mistake (which of course it may well have been), it suggests we could see a major firmware update for Sony's impressive noise-cancelling buds. We have contacted Sony and are awaiting a response.
If that turns out to be the case, aptX HD – a Bluetooth codec capable of wirelessly transmitting 24-bit hi-res audio – would give the WF-1000XM3s a significant boost.
Sony already owns its own excellent high-quality, 24-bit-capable codec, LDAC, so why would it pay a license fee to Qualcomm to use aptX HD? It's an interesting question, although the WF-1000XM3s don't currently support LDAC – only SBC and AAC codecs – so perhaps aptX would be the simpler higher-quality codec of the two to integrate. The over-ear versions, the Sony WH-1000XM3s, use a virtually identical processing chip and support aptX HD (and LDAC), so such support should be possible.
Qualcomm has since take the page (opens in new tab) down, but curiously the link to the photo (opens in new tab) (pictured above) remains in tact. Either way, we'll have to wait (and keep those fingers crossed) to see whether an update plays out.