Google Pixel 8 Is Getting A Sweet Upgrade That Audiophiles Will Love

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Audiophiles on Pixel 8 and other Android phones may have a reason to rejoice—support for lossless USB audio is coming to a future Android 14 version. While it's not a huge deal for most consumers, we think that this initiative is a potential win for Google over the competition.

We like good news, and this one out of Mountain View speaks volumes (pun totally intended). Mishaal Rahman tweeted a Reddit comment by Dave Burke, vice president of engineering at Google stating that lossless USB audio will be coming to the Pixel 8 lineup, as well as other OEM phones. Audio aficionados will especially appreciate this because this means that played audio bypasses any file compression, onboard processing, or added sound profiles directly to a wired headset.

While audio quality is subjective and not for everybody, it's probably safe to say that listeners appreciate it when their favorite tracks sound just like the original song producers intended. Imagine vocals and instruments possessing the clarity and fidelity that many streaming services inevitably butcher through compression technology just to get your files from their servers to your ears.

Another natural contributor to loss in audio quality is when users listen to tunes through wireless Bluetooth earbuds or headphones—there will always be data lost in the process. Even when users use a wired headset to their phones, phone makers apply some kind of "flavor" or unique sound profile to the mix, which obviously alters the original audio somewhat.


By unlocking USB lossless audio at the Android 14 OS level, Google will be allowing (at first) Pixel 8 owners to plug in their wired headsets (they'll have to purchase a separate USB-C to 3.5mm adapter) and listen to unadulterated, uncompressed audio files. Of course, for the best experience, ensure that your audio source is the best quality along with a pair of earbuds/headphones.

There's no official word on which version of Android 14 will this feature drop with, but at least the tweet also mentions that other OEM phones running Android 14 will not be left out either.