Good news for potential buyers of the M2-based 13-inch MacBook Air: The device, which was equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 support when it launched in July 2022, has been retrospectively upgraded to Bluetooth 5.3.
MacRumors noticed that the wireless section of the device’s specs page now includes a link to Bluetooth 5.3, matching the specifications of the new 15-inch MacBook Air. The site also noticed that this section still reads “Wi-Fi 6” for both Air sizes, even though other newer Macs have been updated to support Wi-Fi 6E.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 released at the same time still only offers Bluetooth 5.0, according to the specifications listed for that machine.
However, it is not clear how this change came about. Have the devices currently on sale been physically upgraded with better hardware? Or has Apple reached the new spec through a software or firmware update, meaning the higher spec will also apply to models bought last year, as long as they install available updates? In fact, the answer may be the third option: the 13-inch M2 Air has always had the means to support Bluetooth 5.3, but Apple has refrained from doing so for reasons known only to itself.
We suspected that the fact that the MacBook Pro M2 still supports Bluetooth 5.0, according to that machine’s specs, indicated it was a silent hardware upgrade for the MacBook Air. However, Apple has updated the specs for both the M2 MacBook Pro and M2 MacBook Air sold in their Refurbished Store to read Bluetooth 5.3 as well, so it looks like a firmware update.
We are waiting for official confirmation of which of these is the case.
What we do know is that while the differences are unlikely to be overwhelming, you’re better off having a device that supports Bluetooth 5.3 than a device that only offers Bluetooth 5.0. Version 5.3 adds updates to power savings, data transfer efficiency, smoothness of connection, and anti-interference (these are four very important areas, but the changes in each of them will be minor), but you also get the updates added in version 5.1. and 5.2. What Hi-Fi has a good overview of the changes.
By the way, Bluetooth 5.3 is not the latest standard. Bluetooth 5.4 was released earlier this year.