Apt X Codec

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Apt X Codec

Sep 13, 2012 I specifically suggested Apple to include apt-X as many competitors have it. So they do not listen to customers as demonstrated many times over, also not.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that plenty of people will happily sacrifice audio quality for convenience. Take, for instance. Ti Monitor 1.8.3 Serial. Although seldom a match for a good pair of wired headphones, they are mighty handy. Recently, however, there has been a conscious push-back for quality.

The vinyl resurgence has demonstrated as much, to an extent - LPs certainly aren't convenient. And so has the rise of high-resolution audio. So is there a way to enjoy ease of use without sacrificing performance? The folks at Qualcomm think so, and to that end they have come up with aptX HD,, which brings 24-bit hi-res audio to wireless music.

In a nutshell, Bluetooth devices such as portable speakers have just got a lot better. But what's so good about aptX HD? How can you hear it? And what devices are compatible? To understand what aptX HD is, we need to discuss what ‘classic’ aptX is. It is an audio-coding algorithm, created in the 1980s, popular with film studios and radio broadcasters. These days, aptX is synonymous with Bluetooth, which you’ll find on plenty of computers, smartphones,, and plenty of other consumer electronics products.

What’s the big deal about aptX? Its party trick is the ability to transmit music, full bandwidth, at a ‘CD-like’ 16-bit/44.1kHz. It’s ‘CD-like’ and not ‘CD-quality’ because aptX uses compression, which helps to reduce audio-coding delays and minimise latency issues. Classic aptX has a compression ratio of 4:1 and a data rate of 352kbps.

There are requirements for using aptX HD. First you need the right hardware.

Specifically we’re talking about the CSR8675 Bluetooth audio SOC (system on chip). Not only can it handle end-to-end 24-bit audio, it also provides greater digital-signal processing than its predecessors. Qualcomm promises a lower signal-to-noise ratio through encoding and decoding, and less distortion too, particularly in the 10-20kHz range.

The requirement for a specific chipset means you will get aptX HD only if you have the right devices in the first place: there is no option for a software upgrade later. Nor is there any scope for any sort of audio ‘upscaling’.

The good news, however, is that you don’t need to worry about backwards/future compatibility. AptX HD devices will be compatible with ‘classic’ aptX headphones and speakers. AptX HD was announced in January 2016, and will work with Android smartphones, tablets and portable media players. The first smartphone to support aptX HD was the, which launched last year. This was followed by the, the and the recently-announced, all of which support the technology. The only other smartphones to pack aptX HD are the high-end Vertu Constellation Octane and Luna TG-L900S, both of which are quite niche.

When it comes to portable music players, Astell & Kern is the most prominent supporter of aptX HD. The,,, Award-winning and brand new are all compatible with the codec, as is its XB10 DAC amplifier. Naim's aptX HD-compatible products include the and, too. LG's Tone Active+ and Tone Platinum wireless headse ts also features the technology, as do Audio Technica's and ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphones. Beyerdynamic is one of the latest brands to get onboard too, with its headphones supporting the codec.

This list should grow as aptX HD becomes more widespread. You can see a full list of compatible products.

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