How do you know that you’re getting aptX HD?

Introduction

There are plenty of people out there who are willing to prefer convenience over audio quality. The popularity of wireless headphones and streaming service proves that. The aptX and aptX HD codes are gaining popularity. But the question is what’s the difference between the two and how do you know you’re getting aptX HD output?

Qualcomm has been working hard in this area,and they introduced aptX codec and after that aptX HD in 2016. The audio quality of aptX was not up to the par and to change that the company introduced aptX HD. The aptX HD codec supports high-resolution wireless audio at the rate of 24 bit/48kHz. These numbers are way better than aptX’s less than 16 bit/44.1kHz output.

Let’s dig in deep a little bit!

What is aptX HD?

After aptX, Qualcomm introduced aptX HD in 2016 that promised to be a support for high-resolution wireless audio. However, it is not offering the quality that it boasts because the sound still has a lossy format. It is due to the restrictions on bandwidth that make it almost impossible for the application of lossless coding consistently.

Nevertheless, it does maintain most of the high-resolutionaudio qualities by offering audio frequency up to 20 kHz with a dynamic range of 120dB minimum. Furthermore, it also provides a low ratio of signal-to-noise and less distortion with the help of encoding and decoding. All these features need less power for processing which means that aptX HD won’t consume much of your’ device’s battery as well.

Why you need aptX HD?

The aptX HD is certainly a viable option for wireless audio solutions. The limitations associated with the data speeds of Bluetooth mean that the wireless technologies still cannot offer top quality loss-free experience even with the codec. However, it doesn’t mean that the quality is below par.

Ø  High-definition audio

This codec is the HD version of aptX and sends HD files with background noise almost none. It allows the listener to hear all the subtle details in their music.

Ø  Improves sound quality

The aptX HD improves the quality of sound with the help of a bandwidth of 576 kbps. The additional bandwidth carries the high-quality data with less compression.

Ø  Low latency

The aptX HD achieves a high-quality sound with low latency,and you can experience a fuller, more detailed sound as compared to aptX. The codec doesn’t pause the streaming which means that you will hear lossless sounds and to some extent, it also reaches the quality of wired counterparts as well.

Benefits of aptX

The aptX is the predecessor of aptX HD,and its primary purpose is to provide you with synced audio with visuals. The codec improves the speed of transmission of the audio without any delays which provides you with a synchronized media experience.

You can conveniently use this codec for watching videos and playing games. The codec works on the basics and transmits data at -40ms for your synchronized hearing what you are watching.  The human brain can’t tell the difference between 0 and 100ms. It means that aptX does work fine if you have a quality device and Bluetooth headphones at your disposal.

How to activate aptX HD on your device?

Activating aptX HD on your Android device is quite simple especially if you have Android Oreo 8.0 or 8.1. Android Oreo comes with built-in support for aptX HD. Just follow these steps,

  • Go to Settings. Based on your phone, you will need to,
    • Access About Phone → Build Number
    • Go to About Device → Build Number
    • AccessAbout Phone → software Information → Build Number
    • Go toAbout → Software Information → More → Build Number
  • Now tap Build Number seven times. After that, you will receive a message which will say that you are a developer now.
  • After that go to your Settings Scroll down to see Developer Options.
  • Tap the Developer Options and select Audio Codec. There will be a list of all available codecs that your Android device supports. It will include aptX HD.
  • The next step is to select the aptX HD
  • Now connect your aptX HD Bluetooth headphones and start enjoying the high-quality wireless audio.

What do you need in order to hear aptX HD?

There are some requirements that you need to fulfil if you want Bluetooth aptX HD and the first is the hardware. You will need CSR8675 audio Bluetooth SOC. SOC stands for the system on a chip. This hardware can easily handle 24-bit end-to-end audio plus it also provides an excellent processing power of the digital signal as compared to its predecessors.

With the help of encoding and decoding, Qualcomm has promised to deliver a low ratio of signal-to-noise. It also delivers less distortion in the range of 10 – 20 kHz. Then, of course, you need the right devices as well,and you don’t get the option of a later upgrade or audio up-scaling either. However, the good thing is your aptX HD enabled devices will be compatible with aptX as well.

The difference: aptX vs. aptX HD

The aptX is an audio codec for Bluetooth with the ability to transmit 16 bit/44.1kHz at 352 kbps with a compression ratio of 4.1. It means that your headset, computer, phone or A/V receiver all of them need to have Bluetooth so that they can transmit or send audio. With the help of this codec, you can experience CD-like audio quality. You will hear a better sound as long as the source has CD quality or better. Now there is a difference between CD-like and CD quality. The aptX codec in your device (phone or computer) uses compression before sending while your receiver (headset or speaker) decompresses as it plays the audio.

·         Why compression is necessary

Compression is necessary because there is no Bluetooth technology available that can send raw data from streaming media with good audio and visual quality combined. This codec was designed to lower latency. Latency is the time that goes down in sending audio to hearing it. Latency matters a lot when you are watching something over Bluetooth. It doesn’t matter much in terms ofaudio.

·         Aptx LL

The aptX LL is also available for the users who give plenty of importance to Low Latency. This codec can reduce latency to 32ms,and human brain can’t detect it. The aptX LL is quite common in gaming headsets. The aptX codec is all about improving the sound quality which is a requirement for everyone out there. Therefore, it is available in almost all devices that can send and receive Bluetooth audio.

·         Aptx HD codec

On the other hand, aptX HD codec can transmit 24 bit/48 kHz at 576 kbps with a compression ratio of 4.1.it means that this codec can transmit higher quality audio as compared to aptX standard. It doesn’t increase the latency,and it doesn’t halt the stream. Files at this transmission rate have no background noise and very less distortion.

However, any compression rate does come with some hiss or fuzz,but you don’t detect it. The compression of aptX HD is designed not to feel fuzzy or chunky. Rock guitarists also use compression at an extreme level to make their guitars sound fuzzy or chunky,and it works very well for them. The most significant difference between aptX HD and aptX is the transmission rate.

·         Aptxtransmisison

AptXstandard transmits at 353 kbps while aptX HD does it at 576 kbps. You understand what kbps is and it stands for Kilobits per second. It is the same unit you use to measure your internet speed, and you know that highkbps mean high speed.Same goes with Bluetooth audio too. High bandwidth translates into data transfers at high speeds with a low amount of compression. It signifies the high-end audio performance of aptX HD.

What products support aptX HD?

The aptX HD is not something that you can find in a piece of equipment,and you will need Qualcomm’s hardware and software for it. LG G5 was the first smartphone to come with aptX HD along with LG G6, LG V20 and LG V30.

Sony followed by their aptX HD enabled smartphones by offering Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. Later one, OnePlus 3 OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5 came in to join the party. There are some less-known devices also available in the market from companies like Luna and Sharp that have devices with aptX HD enabled.

As for the headphones, the Bluetooth headsets from Sony, LG, Audio Technica and some other less popular brands have aptX HD enabled devices on the listening end. The numbers will only grow from here because Google has integrated aptX HD in its operating system,i.e. Android Oreo 8.0 and 8.1. It means that aptX HD is here to stay.

Conclusion

Most of the audiophiles want music in their ears that blow their minds away. Of course, it can only happen when you have wires connected to your device but most people go for convenience now,and that is where the Bluetooth audio comes in.

Wireless audio quality is not up to the mark, and for the audiophiles, it might never be. However, Bluetooth audio quality is improving day by day because more and more devices are cutting those 3.5mm jacks. Android Oreo supports it which means that wireless audio is not going anywhere soon.

In this post, we have discussed in details associated with the question that how do you know you’re getting aptX HD? We hope that you have found this information useful. For any queries, comments, and suggestion you can get in touch by dropping your message in the section provided below.

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