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Thread: A Conundrum of Bluetooth Codecs

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Forster, NSW, Australia

    Posts: 277
    I'm Hal.

    Default A Conundrum of Bluetooth Codecs

    I thought Bluetooth codecs could be summed up in just a few sentences, and went something like "SBC bad, AAC not much better, Aptx good, Sony LDAC best".
    The more I get into it the more confusing and less clear cut it gets. To back up a bit, I will soon have a AKG N70NC bluetooth, noise cancelling headphone as part of a Samsung phone promotion, a model that has received a lot of flack for only having SBC and AAC codecs. If i interpret everything right, AAC would be fine if the music files had a data stream of less than about 300kb/second, but my uncompressed Flac music library usually plays at double this or more, which I assume means the tablet will start compressing everything to send over the Bluetooth link. I can of course use the wired connection, and probably will most of the time, but the convenience of just using the headphones wirelessly is pretty appealing, especially if there's a cat wanting to sit on my lap at the same time.
    To confuse things more, I've enabled developer options in the Samsung tablet which allow some customizing of the installed codecs, including data rates, but I can't play with them till I get the headphones and the tablet pairs up.
    So, can I ask, is AAC really only for low data rate applications, like Spotify, YouTube etc, and, if I use it to stream regular Redbook CD music files, will it degrade them and by roughly how much?
    Thanks in advance,
    Without music, powerboat racing, photography and a whole stack of other stuff that floats my boat, life is just a non stop procession of deadlines and bills.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 57,328
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    I use bluetooth a lot with my cans... my Nuras are hd aptx and my sonys do ldac as well.. rates for every version here

    Codecs and Bitrates Comparison

    AAC: 250 kbps
    SBC: 328 kbps
    aptX: 352 kbps
    aptX HD: 576 kbps
    LDAC: 990 kbps

    Ldac comes out best but aptx hd isnt far behind sound wise. I have used aac on something; might have been my old iphone and tbh it was fine but not as good.. ldac is pretty much close as damn it flac level imo... needs a good transmitter tho they are available on most modern android phones. ive a sony phone so its part parcel in there. if you can get aptx hd you will be happy enough tho
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
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  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Forster, NSW, Australia

    Posts: 277
    I'm Hal.

    Default

    Thanks for that, looking forward to getting them late August and trying them out. o
    Without music, powerboat racing, photography and a whole stack of other stuff that floats my boat, life is just a non stop procession of deadlines and bills.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Forster, NSW, Australia

    Posts: 277
    I'm Hal.

    Default

    Interestingly I sent a query to AKG asking if the revised CM2 version of this headphone had better codec support and this was the answer
    Reply from AKG over codec issue. "Latency is a tradeoff with robustness for Bluetooth connections. If you accept more latency, you will gain a more robust connection, and that is why we have done it the way we have.

    BT is in itself a limitation on signal quality, and it was decided that audio quality would not be much better with other systems. Real high-resolution sound is possible only over cable, from a hi-res player, and this is an option on N700NC."

    Ok, I'll be very interested to see how it goes off my headphone/dac combinations. Hoping it's really good, but I'm still a bit annoyed that you can't use this to wirelessly watch late night tennis and cricket (next test starts in a few hours) without latency issues.
    Without music, powerboat racing, photography and a whole stack of other stuff that floats my boat, life is just a non stop procession of deadlines and bills.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jun 2012

    Location: Forster, NSW, Australia

    Posts: 277
    I'm Hal.

    Default

    Interestingly I sent a query to AKG asking if the revised CM2 version of this headphone had better codec support and this was the answer
    Reply from AKG over codec issue. "Latency is a tradeoff with robustness for Bluetooth connections. If you accept more latency, you will gain a more robust connection, and that is why we have done it the way we have.

    BT is in itself a limitation on signal quality, and it was decided that audio quality would not be much better with other systems. Real high-resolution sound is possible only over cable, from a hi-res player, and this is an option on N700NC."

    Ok, I'll be very interested to see how it goes off my headphone/dac combinations. Hoping it's really good, but I'm still a bit annoyed that you can't use this to wirelessly watch late night tennis and cricket (next test starts in a few hours) without latency issues.
    Without music, powerboat racing, photography and a whole stack of other stuff that floats my boat, life is just a non stop procession of deadlines and bills.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 57,328
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    latency shouldnt be an issue tbh if they did their job right. Robustness my arse. I can take my Nuras upstairs and they still play fine on apex hd. can even go out back a bit. Im awaiting the new Nuras arrival. they are mini headphones.. both are learning tho and adapt to your hearing through an app on phone initially for set up. They are expensive but work fantastically well. especially if your getting older as your hearing does change.
    I might add Nura are Aussie company I think so might be cheaper over there
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    OPPO BDP-103D DARBEE - JBE SERIES 3/B&O SP1/PROJECT PHONOBOX DS2 USB - QUAD VENA 2 - IFI PURIFIER 2/TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK POWER AMPLIFIERS - LEAF HD BLUETOOTH - OPPO PM-3 PLANAR, SONY H900 & NURAPHONE HEADPHONES - ZBOOK/ IFI SILENCER/WIN10 PRO/AUDIRVANA 3 PLUS/TIDAL - SMSL M6 DAC & IFI SILENCER - RPI 3+, DIGIONE HAT/VOLUMIO2 - FULL RANGE TWIN TELEFUNKEN SPEAKERS - CABLE INC CHORD, MOGAMI, SUPRA & WIREWORLD

    **Men are not punished for their sins, but by them**
    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

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