Wirelessness is in the air. Pun intended. It is the era of more and more wireless products hitting the market. However, it’s always better to pause just a little and research things before jumping on the wireless bandwagon for headphones. The reason - audio quality. The battle between wired and wireless performance is one of epic proportions. Currently, the wireless are lagging. Wireless technology i.e. Bluetooth compatible headphones are yet to match the bit rate of the good ol’ wired headphones, for now. But trust technology to slowly but surely close the gap and maybe even overshadow the wired variety, in the long run.
Bluetooth streaming devices use Audio Codecs. The quality of wireless headphones is defined by it. The majority of Bluetooth devices stream audio on a codec that supports a maximum bitrate of 320kbps and is called SBC Codec (which stands for Low Complexity Subband Coding). The result - heavy loss in audio resolution. Enter Qualcomm which went on to introduce a codec known as ‘aptX’. A CD usually supports 16-bit audio at a speed of 353kbps. The aptX support up to 384kbps at 48kHz sampling frequency. This results in a more enjoyable audio experience with low latency and loss. AptX is also battery-friendly and is better at compressing and decompressing music. It has less delay which is also known as latency as compared to other codecs. All in all, it definitely offers a much better listening experience and is definitely a step closer to matching levels of music listening on wired headphones.
Most headphones support aptX. Currently, aptX is available in its latest iteration - the aptX HD, which of course offers improved abilities. If you’re looking to setup aptX on your smartphone, you can head here. Also, if you’re using a smartphone with a Qualcomm-powered chipset along with a Bluetooth headphone that supports both the codecs, the processor will automatically select whichever is better.
But, it’s just not enough to buy a headphone (or speaker) that supports aptX. Your audio player, your smartphone, in this case, will need to be compliant too. Given the various updates and improvements in audio codecs since the invention of aptX, you’re most likely to be well set in the product specification department.
Just about all phones with the Android Oreo (8.0 or 8.1) OS system support aptX HD which is really easy to activate. As aptX is a previous version, chances are that your smartphone supports aptX comfortably. So sit back and relax, as we take you step-by-step to activate aptX on your smartphone:
Watch this video tutorial:
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 UP2 is precisely built for that purpose. It supports aptX, aptX HD and LDAC and has the latest Bluetooth version 5.0. 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 UP2 to check it out!
Wondering what headphones and earphones support aptX? Here's our comprehensive list of products that come with aptX:
True Wireless Earbuds
So what are you waiting for? Activate aptX and do tell us about your high-quality audio experience!
If you’re looking to activate aptX HD, you can head here and get grooving on aptX HD too!
Check out my review of the Astell&Kern Billie Jean wherein I explain in detail various aspects of the headphone including its design, comfort, and performance. Has Astell&Kern outdone itself with the quality and performance with its Billie Jean. Click to find out!