It's common knowledge that nothing beats the audio quality of listening to a wired headphone plugged-in. But, what if we told you that you can get audio quality almost similar to this on a wireless headphone? Yup, we're not kidding. This is all thanks to aptX HD. Let's dive in and find out more, shall we?
What is aptX HD?
When streaming music over Bluetooth, your devices use something called Audio Codecs to compress signals and parse them onto your Bluetooth device. This defines the quality of music that passes through wirelessly. A good number of Bluetooth devices stream audio on an SBC Codec (which supports a bit rate of max 320kbps). This causes a heavy loss in the audio resolution.
To reduce this loss, Qualcomm first introduced aptX and later aptX HD. aptX HD supports 24-bit audio data at a speed of 576kbps. To put that in perspective, a CD supports 16-bit audio at a speed of 352kbps. Thus, you can listen to higher-quality audio on your Bluetooth devices.
But, it’s just not enough to purchase a headphone that supports aptX HD. You need your audio player (or smartphone in case that’s what you use to stream music over Bluetooth) to have it too.
Activate aptX HD in No Time
With Android 10.0 and above, Qualcomm processors have become leaner, meaner and a lot faster in terms of processing. With the evolution of Hi-Res music and the multitude of streaming services that are available for use, our smartphones have become smarter too.
aptX is a Qualcomm-proprietary audio codec. It is now designed to respond flexibly to the latest devices and how users will need aptX over different applications or use cases of audio streaming. With most modern smartphones, aptX offers a myriad of options like aptX Low Latency, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive and many more.
When headphones with aptX support are connected to a phone that supports aptX family of codex, the highest codec that’s supported in both devices is taken into consideration. It’s a smart feature that most phones with Android 9.0 and above ship with.
If you're on an older one (Android Oreo i.e 8.0 or 8.1 OS), you needn’t worry either, these phones support aptX HD which is really easy to activate. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to:
- Go to the ‘Settings’ app. Depending on the phone you are using, you will have to follow one of the following patterns:
About Phone -> Build Number
About Device -> Build Number
About Phone -> Software Information -> Build Number
About -> Software Information -> More -> Build Number
- Tap ‘Build Number’ 7 times. Once done, you will get a message telling you that you are now a developer.
- Go to Settings again and look for ‘Developer Options’ on the menu.
- In ‘Developer Options’ select ‘Audio Codec’. You will get a list of all the codecs your phone supports (including aptX HD).
- Now, simply select aptX HD, connect your (aptX HD-enabled) headphone and enjoy high-quality audio in no time.
But, I don’t have aptX HD...
You can still activate aptX without the HD. Read our guide to activate aptX on your Smartphone here.
If you don’t have aptX HD no worries and if your phone hasn’t made it to this list don’t fret. aptX is a Qualcomm-proprietary codec and you may not have it if you’re using a Mediatek, Exynos or a HiSilicon Kirin processor based smartphone. Apple iPhones don’t have it too.
You can always get a hi-res DAP that supports aptX HD and make the most of your Bluetooth headphones.
To help you in your quest for better audio, we have also created this list of the headphones that support aptX HD.
So what are you waiting for? Activate aptX HD and do tell us about your high-quality audio experience!
Just in case...
In case you have wired headphones or earphones and do not wish to spend on a new wireless headphone, we got you covered. Go ahead and get a hi-res DAP that supports hi-res codecs. The Shanling UP4 is precisely built for that purpose. It supports aptX, aptX HD and LDAC and has the latest Bluetooth version 5.0 over a Hi-Res Wired & Wireless certification. Among others. Choc-a-bloc with features, it is perfect for those who are very possessive of their wired headphones but wish to cross over to the land of the wireless with minimal sacrifices to the audio quality. Head over to the Shanling UP4 to check it out!