Which Bluetooth Codec settings to use, a basic guide

  1. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Not all of us understand the differences between the three 5T Bluetooth Codec that you can find in:

    Settings/Advanced/Bluetooth Audio Codec (yes right at the bottom)

    You may not even have been aware they were there. So briefly what are they and which one should you use.

    All Bluetooth devices have to support the (SBC) Standard low-Complexity sub-Band codec. This is the default and works the vast majority of the time. However, it is not good enough for listening to quality music, for that you need one of the other two Codec. Aptx provides near CD quality audio but not quite as good as listening to your favourite album on a good CD stereo. Some of us may not be able to tell the difference but the last Codec aptx-hd is the superior one to use with a good set of Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

    So let us get a bit more technical: SBC supports sampling frequencies of up to 48 kHz and bit rates of up to 198 kb/s for mono streams - 345 kb/s stereo streams. The best, aptx-hd, transfers audio up to 576 kb/s for a 24-bit 48 kHz file, which allows for a superior listening experience.

    All that said, aptX is only a codec and a lot of the detail will depend on your headphones, speakers, etc. Also, if you are listening to a low-quality audio file no Codec will improve it.

    Hope that helps some of us.

    PS If you are listening to bad music then I recommend SBC... just joking.

  2. ViW1p Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 29, 2017

    idkwhoiam322 and Martin70 like this.
  3. Ehsan Nazeer Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

  4. Ehsan Nazeer Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

  5. Ezelryb Cupcake Dec 29, 2017

    Ezelryb, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Does the aptX codecs have any disadvantages? Or why is the standard lower quality transmission?

  6. rvirex Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    rvirex, Dec 29, 2017 :
    It drains comparatively more battery.

    kobetakamatsu and Ezelryb like this.
  7. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Actually rvirex, AptX does a better job compressing and decompressing music, so is less of a drain on a battery. I will write a bit more to explain some of the other differences, back soon.

  8. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 29, 2017 :
    SBC is an old standard, so it works with everything and because of that every Bluetooth device has to include it.

    otto2 likes this.
  9. pH7 Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 29, 2017

    pH7, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Question is, do the Bluetooth devices have to share codecs in order to really benefit from the phone's transmission? Very few Bluetooth products boast AptX/AptHD...

  10. J1511869694245 Cupcake Dec 29, 2017

  11. Shinomitsu Froyo Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70 and Lawrence Neo like this.
  12. Gav_W86 Starting Point Expert Dec 29, 2017

    Gav_W86, Dec 29, 2017 :
    look at the specs for it. It should say which it works with.

    Martin70 likes this.
  13. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Thanks for the likes. A little bit more information…

    Bluetooth is getting long in the tooth, it was designed for transferring data more than for listening to music so originally the sound quality was bad, the good news is the designers were far sighted enough to allow it to be improved thus aptx etc.

    otto2 likes this.
  14. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 29, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 29, 2017 :
    Another good thing about aptx is its “low latency”, that is the delay between a transfer of data following an instruction for it to be transferred. So, if you are watching video or playing games, the lips of the person speaking will (all being well) move at the same time as the voice you are listening to. SBC is not good at that. With aptx you can expect less than 40 ms of delay, much better than SBC's 100-150 ms delays.

    When you are buying a new device (headphones etc) you should make sure that the device you are buying is able to work with aptx then you should experience smooth quality sound with good audio detail, and (hopefully) less hiccups and delays. The good news is that Qualcomm’s aptx technology is used in millions of devices, so you should be able to use aptx with most recent Bluetooth devices.

    otto2 likes this.
  15. MentalDraco Lollipop Dec 30, 2017

    MentalDraco, Dec 30, 2017 :
    Nice to see this, I know a lot of posts on the forum could have been avoided if they read this :)). So far for my speakers all work but I will say that aptx has a better defined sound on my speakers that can use it, which would make sense.

    otto2 and Martin70 like this.
  16. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 30, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 30, 2017 :
    The LDAC codec is supposed to be part of Oreo but I do not know if every device will support it. If anyone hasthe Oreo Beta maybe they could check.

    LDAC is a Sony codec but it supports 24-bit, 96 kHz (Hi-Res) audio codec compared to Qualcomm’s aptX HD, which supports 24-bit, 48 kHz audio. I hope it is included.

    Shinomitsu likes this.
  17. Shinomitsu Froyo Dec 30, 2017

    Shinomitsu, Dec 30, 2017 :
    If I am not mistaken, the LDAC codec will be part of the Android Open Source Project so it is up to the manufacturers to choose whether they make it available on their devices (It seems that OnePlus will support it in Oxygen OS as I have seen posts about that on this forum).

    However, in order to use this codec, you will have to not only have a compatible device but also to have compatible audio equipment, which is, for now, only Sony products (unless there are some other brands that have released new products that I didn't hear of).

    What's interesting about the LDAC codec is that it transmit a lot more data than any other existing codec (excluding Bluetooth 5.0), which means there is a lot less compression needed for the audio. There is less quality loss.

    To give you an idea, you can think of Bluetooth codecs as "tubes" used to transmit audio from point A to point B. The best audio quality that we want to transmit is "CD quality" which is roughly 1440 kbps in terms of data flow. The larger the tube is, the less you will have to "cut" from the audio for it to fit the tube. The LDAC codec is capable of transmitting 990 kbps without loss, versus around 570 kbps for the aptX HD codec and 350 kbps.

    Theoretically, the only thing that could be better than LDAC in terms of wireless audio quality is Bluetooth 5.0 (the OnePlus 5T does have a Bluetooth 5.0 capable chip, yay! :)) but I think we will have to wait a long time to enjoy this technology (and it will be expensive at first). In the meantime, I am really looking forward the Oreo update and the LDAC support :D

    borft and Martin70 like this.
  18. Martin70 Honeycomb Dec 30, 2017

    Martin70, Dec 30, 2017 :
    Thank you Shinomitsu, very informative. I own Sony WH-1000XM2 so I hope the LDAC codec is included. The only questions is; Sony ask for a payment from the device manufacturers for including LDAC.

    Shinomitsu likes this.
  19. Ash645 Jelly Bean Dec 30, 2017

    Martin70 likes this.
  20. Shinomitsu Froyo Dec 30, 2017

    Shinomitsu, Dec 30, 2017 :
    Thank you for posting this thread in the first place!

    As for your question, if I am not mistaken, as LDAC is part of the Android Open Source Project, devices manufacturers don't have to pay to implement LDAC support in their version of Oreo.

    Now, nothing is really free and it is a very smart move from Sony to offer LDAC support free of charge for the device manufacturers. It means more devices will support LDAC, so more customer will potentially be interested in buying a Sony LDAC audio equipment, which they currently have a monopoly on.

    Martin70 likes this.