Apple buy Wi-Gear for Bluetooth expertise; apt-X quality audio support as standard?

Nov 9, 2010
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Apple buy Wi-Gear for Bluetooth expertise; apt-X quality audio support as standard?

It's been a long time since we reviewed Wi-Gear's iMuffs for iPod, but it seems Apple has been paying closer attention to the wireless headphones company. According to 9to5Mac's sources, Apple acquired Wi-Gear two months ago - the company now says it is closed for business - and intends to use its technology and expertise to produce stereo Bluetooth headphones for its iOS and MacBook lines. We've also reason to believe that Apple could introduce apt-X support across those ranges, for higher quality Bluetooth audio.

There's been no official announcement by either Apple or Wi-Gear, and the terms of the deal are still unknown. However, Wi-Gear co-founder Michael Kim is now listed as "iOS Bluetooth Engineer at Apple" in his LinkedIn profile, where he has been employed since October 2010.

One interesting tidbit among his Wi-Gear responsibilities is that Kim worked with Cambridge Silicon Radio, the company behind the high-quality apt-X Bluetooth algorithm that offers higher than normal wireless stereo audio quality. As we discovered in our Sennheiser PX 210 Bluetooth headphones review, apt-X makes a significant difference over regular A2DP, but does require that both transmitter and receiver be apt-X-compliant. If Apple moved to integrate that support into its iOS and MacBook ranges, it would be a significant boost to apt-X support.


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