Pixel 8 series to receive support for lossless audio via USB in a 'later release'

The Google Pixel 8 Pro in porcelain
(Image credit: Shruti Shekar / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's VP of Engineering, Dave Burke confirmed via Reddit that lossless USB audio will soon arrive on the Pixel 8.
  • Burke added that the feature's appearance will ensure "bit perfect audio" as music bypasses the audio mixer, processing effects, and more.
  • Android 14 launched with support for lossless audio file formats for wired USB headphones.

Google's latest flagship phone series appears to be in line to receive some pretty useful audio quality upgrades.

Google's VP of Engineering, Dave Burke, has confirmed via Reddit that lossless USB audio is on the way for the Pixel 8 series, according to Mishaal Rahman. Burke explains that the feature will "ensure bit perfect audio" as music files bypass the audio mixer, processing effects, and other affixes.

He explains that Google added OS support (through Android 14) for this audio format.

We're currently in the waiting room as it's now in the hands of the developers and OEMs to bring full support. Burke states the Pixel 8 series and phones from other companies should provide lossless USB audio on their devices "in later releases."

The current way of enjoying such a format on smartphones is through the use of a DAC (digital-to-analog converter), which is a device the Redditor brought up in their initial questioning. Back when the Android 14 beta was in its early days, it was explained that its lossless USB audio support was designed for "audiophile-level experiences over USB wired headsets."

Considering more direct support for such a feature is on the way, it should mean that users can do away with the DAC and plug their USB-C headphones into their Pixel 8 for music quality that mirrors what you'd get from a CD.

Aside from the previously mentioned apps, it looks like Spotify is finally bringing lossless audio for its listeners soon through a new "Supremium" tier. It's currently speculated that the plan should arrive by the end of the year. However, Burke added that app developers will need to adopt the new API for lossless audio if they wish to take full advantage of it on eligible devices.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.