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Bluetooth
Audio Codecs

The decoded truth

DISCLAIMER: OSs + HARDWARE EVOLVE! BOOKMARK AND VISIT AGAIN FOR UPDATES



Bluetooth audio quality is defined by the codec algorithm and bitrate transmission versus the Bluetooth version. You no longer need to sacrifice audio quality for wireless convenience with a little knowledge.

Qualcomm aptX technology is V-MODA’s preferred codec to achieve CD quality sound and cross-platform compatibility. aptX’s algorithm was originally engineered for professional film and audio engineering studios.



  • aptX works on macOS, high-end Android phones and Windows PCs (via supported adapters) – max 352kbps
  • AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) is optimized for iOS devices and many apps, it can also save power with its lower transmission bitrate – max ~256kbps
  • SBC (Sub-Band Codec) is universally compatible across all Bluetooth audio devices – max 328kbps


Both the audio product (headphones or speaker) and the streaming device source (phone, tablet, laptop, PC etc.) need to support the same advanced codec or it will default to SBC.

Find below an audio codec compatibility matrix for V-MODA products:



* Qualcomm aptX Available only on Rose Gold version.

ANDROID 8.0 OREO™ HIGH-END DEVICES SUPPORTING QUALCOMM APTX or AAC

Android users: great news! Many flagship Android phones support Qualcomm aptX and/or AAC such as the Samsung Galaxy/Note and Google Pixel/Nexus. You can finally discover what codec is streaming over Bluetooth audio and choose the codec you would like to use.



PIXEL + STOCK ANDROID BLUETOOTH SETTINGS


  • When the headphones are paired go to Bluetooth settings
  • Turn on/off HD audio: Qualcomm® aptX™ audio by using the switch


DEVELOPER MODE


  • Go to the settings menu and click “About phone”
  • Scroll down to the bottom where you see “Build number”
  • Tap it seven (7) times. Android developer settings are now enabled
  • Go to the settings menu again and click System->Developer options->Bluetooth Audio Codec
  • Choose your audio codec of preference

macOS SUPPORTS QUALCOMM APTX AND AAC

MacBook and macOS users: great news! Your Mac supports Qualcomm aptX and AAC and you can easily discover what codec it is streaming over Bluetooth audio by holding down the option key and checking your paired device settings on the menu bar as you can see below:





ABOUT APTX

The Qualcomm aptX audio coding algorithm originated in the late 1980s at Queen's University Belfast. This innovative work was focused on bit rate reduction and achieved significant bit rate efficiencies while preserving audio quality.
Qualcomm aptX has been the best kept secret of the professional audio industry, used by major public broadcasters and film studios around the world. Now available on leading consumer devices, aptX enables music lovers to enjoy a rich listening experience.*



ABOUT AAC

The Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec is the license-free standard for Youtube, Sony Playstation and is the preferred audio codec by Apple.



ABOUT SBC

The low-complexity sub-band codec (SBC) divides the signal into multiple frequency bands and encodes each one independently. It is mandatory among all A2DP-enabled devices, making it virtually universal.**



*Source: aptx.com
**Source: soundguys.com

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