When the Cupertino-based tech giant first pulled the curtains away from its latest Apple Watch models, it only claimed support on the devices for Bluetooth 5.0. Since then, however, Apple has updated the product pages. It turns out, the Apple Watch SE, Series 8 and Ultra actually support the newer Bluetooth 5.3 standard.
Inconsistent Product Specifications Linger
Some pages on Apple’s website still list only Bluetooth 5.0 support for the latest models of the Apple Watch. However, we’ve heard from Apple good news. The Apple Watch comparison page also confirms the news. In the U.S., at a minimum, all of the latest Apple Watch devices offer support for the newer Bluetooth 5.3 standard. This includes the second-generation Apple Watch SE as well as the Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8.
In addition, all four iPhone 14 models come with Bluetooth 5.3 support baked in. Not to be outdone, the second-generation AirPods Pro have joined the 5.3 party.
Ramifications of Apple Supporting Bluetooth 5.3 Standard
With these latest devices offering Bluetooth 5.3 support, there are a number of improvements we can expect. When using Bluetooth devices compatible with the latest specifications, we can expect better reliability, more efficient energy usage and a smoother user experience.
It’s important to note that even though Bluetooth 5.3 supports the new LE Audio specification, Apple hasn’t confirmed it’s implemented that. For those unaware, the LE Audio specification in Bluetooth 5.3 can offer a much richer listening experience.
The Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3) included in Bluetooth 5.3 offers a much more efficient way to wirelessly transmit audio. What this means for you, once Apple integrates LE Audio, is higher quality audio at the same bitrate.
Other Benefits of Newer Bluetooth Standards
More improvements come along, too. A feature called Auracast, included in the latest codec, allows you to easily connect multiple audio devices to the same iPhone or Apple Watch. This means you could have two or three headphones connected to your device at once, and use them simultaneously.
As noted earlier, Bluetooth 5.3 also offers better energy efficiency. This will help prolong your battery life for not only your iPhone or Apple Watch, but also your Bluetooth 5.3-compatible headphones such as the AirPods Pro 2.