11 September 2018
The aptX codec has been living in the music industry for quite a time now. It works differently than other codecs used by Bluetooth A2DP. It has been around in the wireless portable audio industry for a much longer time and it does a better job of compressing and decompressing the music so as to keep our smartphone’s and headphones’ battery from draining like a sieve. It actually reduces the size of the audio files so they can be squeezed through the wireless channel without affecting the sound quality.
But, according to Qualcomm, the existing aptX has some limits and thus it’s introducing a new version that would contract the size of the audio data even further so that you can experience a good audio quality whenever and wherever you choose.
Now, the new version of aptX is called aptX Adaptive and it compresses the audio at a variable bitrate. This basically works according to the surroundings in which you’re listening to music. For instance, if you’re in an empty room, aptX Adaptive will allow your phone to send a higher bitrate file so that you get better audio quality. This means the aptX Adaptive version of codec adapts to surroundings and then delivers the audio accordingly.
Also, it adapts according to the situation, for instance, if you’re streaming content from Netflix, it will adjust the settings accordingly. aptX Adaptive is meant as a replacement to traditional aptX and the newer aptX HD. This means the bitrate of the aptX can go lower than the normal aptX (down to 280kbps) and go up as high as aptX HD (only going up to 420kbps, instead of 576kbps).
Chris Havell, senior director of product marketing at Qualcomm, says,
We basically improved the codec so what you were getting at 576 you now get at 420. Reducing the bitrate also means more bandwidth for resending data that didn’t make it over to your headphones, meaning the connection could be stronger.
Havell says he expects headphones with AptX Adaptive support to arrive in the first half of 2019. Those headphones will also be compatible with older versions of aptX. So, they are expected to work even with the phones on the older Android version.