Fortunately, you can use a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones, which, in many ways are more convenient anyway. The only issue with wireless Bluetooth is that sound can take a dip in audio quality. Let's know more about the audio quality in Bluetooth devices.
At its most basic, aptX is an audio codec that can be used to compress and decompress music when streaming via Bluetooth. It acts like the packaging of your audio parcel, while Bluetooth A2DP (the most commonly used Bluetooth profile) is the courier that delivers it.
It was first developed in the 1980s and went into commercial production in the 1990s, before being acquired by chipset manufacturer Qualcomm in 2015. As of 2009, aptX started to be applied to consumer electronics, and it has gone on to be adopted by some hundreds of leading audio brands.
It’s an upgrade to the standard lossy SBC (Subband Coding) codec, which tends to support Bluetooth A2DP music transfer at something like 256kbits/sec. Translation: your device might be sending out good-quality audio files, but you won’t be hearing better than MP3 quality at the other end.
AptX came about in an attempt to change that. It uses an improved proprietary compression to squeeze the music down to a size that’s similar to SBC, but while keeping more of the audio’s original frequency range.
This promises a “CD-like” transmission of your music, although the compression it uses means it can’t quite mimic the 16-bit/44.1kHz quality you’ll hear on a disc.
It does help to keep latency to a minimum compared to SBC, however. That’s particularly useful for keeping dialogue in sync when you’re watching video, and it will sound better too.
In an attempt to improve things further still, Qualcomm launched aptX HD in 2016. This promised to offer support for wireless high-res audio, up to 24-bit/48kHz.
Despite its “better than CD” boast, technically it’s still a lossy format, due to bandwidth restrictions that make it impossible to apply lossless coding at every step.
However, it’s still considered “near lossless”, since it maintains high-res qualities such as a dynamic range of at least 120dB and audio frequencies up to 20kHz.
It also promises a lower signal-to-noise ratio through encoding and decoding, less distortion and requires less processing power too, so it won’t drain as much of your battery.
The frustrating thing about aptX (and also, aptX HD) is that it needs both a decoder and a receiver to work. That means that both your source device (whatever is sending the audio via Bluetooth), and the device on which you’re receiving it (be it a speaker or a pair of headphones), must support the technology in order for it to work.
After a universal acceptance that aptX Low Latency and aptX HD audio technologies make standard and high-res music sound great over wireless connections, Qualcomm has followed up with a new standard that should simplify matters.
It has announced aptX Adaptive - a new wireless audio technology that effectively transmits audio at like-for-like quality, no matter the source.
The new version of AptX is called AptX Adaptive, and its key feature is the ability to compress audio at a variable bitrate. That means if you’re in an environment with a lot of competing for wireless signals, your phone will be able to compress your audio into a smaller file size so that it’s easier to stream to your headphones. And if you’re in an empty room listening to music, AptX Adaptive will allow your phone to send a higher bitrate file so that you get better audio quality.
"With this new product, listeners don’t have to do anything while aptX Adaptive dynamically adjusts performance to best deliver exceptional audio whether the user is playing games or listening a song."
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