China has officially released its first unified architecture and full-bitrate wireless audio codec standard called L2HC. It aims to surpass current wireless codecs from companies like Apple, Sony, and Qualcomm.
The new L2HC standard supports lossless CD-quality audio up to 96kHz/24-bit with bitrates between 64Kbps to 1.92Mbps. This exceeds standards like AAC, LDAC, and aptX Lossless.
First implemented in Huawei’s new FreeBuds Pro 3 earbuds, L2HC delivers lossless 1.5Mbps bitrate wireless audio in its debut product. This provides richer, high-fidelity sound not matched by other Bluetooth audio options.
As a unified and full-bitrate codec, L2HC offers consistency across the encoding range and robust interference resistance. It aims to avoid the patchwork compatibility issues arising from proprietary audio codecs from different brands.
With wireless audio quality increasingly important, China is positioning itself at the forefront with L2HC. The ambitious new standard could raise expectations for lossless fidelity in wireless listening.
However, L2HC faces challenges breaking into international markets dominated by existing formats like AAC or LDAC. It will need to be licensed for adoption into headphones from other brands. But as a unified lossless standard, it has potential to disrupt the wireless audio landscape.
The launch of L2HC on the FreeBuds Pro 3 represents China’s play for wireless audio supremacy. If broadly adopted, it could remake expectations around Bluetooth audio quality worldwide.