Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › What are head-fi members views on apt-x lossless codec (over bluetooth)?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What are head-fi members views on apt-x lossless codec (over bluetooth)? - Page 2

post #16 of 47

there are two types of aptX codecs, one is aptX which is now commonly used in new handset and headsets, another one is aptX Lossless. Many have been confused the aptX technology used in bluetooth devices is aptX Lossless, which is not true.

 

http://www.csr.com/products/60/aptx

http://www.csr.com/products/61/aptx-lossless

post #17 of 47

Quote:

Originally Posted by sovereignty68 View Post

Many have been confused the aptX technology used in bluetooth devices is aptX Lossless, which is not true.


Man, you're a genius. Seriously. This explains everything, and by 'everything' I mean the incorrect thread name.

post #18 of 47

Mark my words, the future of portable audio is wireless.

 

I've been into portable audio since the days of the first Sony Walkman, I've used portable CD players, DCC and MiniDisc, embraced the first iPod and owned 20+ mp3 players over the years. I've been into bluetooth audio (A2DP) since its rather dreadful early days and been following its tediously slow crawl towards better sound quality over the last years. Today I can safely say that aptX bluetooth is significantly better and more reliable than everything else I've heard before and that wireless audio is finally ready for prime time.

 

Why am I so sure about this? Because I've been using an aptX enabled bluetooth receiver (Samsung HS3000) almost daily during the last few months, first from a Creative Zen X-Fi3 and lately from a Samsung Galaxy SIII. As interesting as discussing lossless vs. lossy may be, I'm not a theorist, I need to get my hands on things and try them in practice. I've been on head-fi since 2004 and have witnessed some of the most die-hard beliefs disappearing into thin air, simply because technology had moved on (remember when it was more or less common belief that a cellphone could never rival the sound quality of a dedicated mp3 player?). After countless hours of using my portable aptX rig with high-end IEMs like the SE530, IE8, W4, FI-BA-SS, K3003 and UERM, I'm convinced that aptX is a fully adequate replacement for a wired connection in a mobile scenario.

 

So let me clarify: I'm still using a wired connection at home, in very quiet surroundings. And to those who hear a difference between FLAC an 320 kbit/s mp3 or think that 24/96 is a necessity, I won't even try to argue with you. But for ordinary mortals like me, the sound quality of aptX bluetooth is easily good enough for portable use and virtually indistinguishable from a wired connection in any environment with ambient noise.

 

Here's a picture of my current portable rig (SGS3 > HS3000 > IE8 with short cable):

 

 

Ok, I'm cheating, there are still wires between receiver and earpieces. wink.gif  Well, that's first of all due to versatility ( I can connect anything with a 3.5mm plug) and secondly, there aren't any decent IEMs with integrated receiver available yet. But things are improving quickly and I'm pretty sure that we'll see a myriad of wireless devices entering the market during the next few years. So far I've seen aptX enabled headphones by Creative, Motorola, Sennheiser, Jaybird, Denon, Phiaton and yes, there's even an aptX version of the infamous Beats out there. To anyone interested, here's a list of apt-X enabled devices that seems pretty up-to-date.

 

Bottom line, this is my view on aptX, I don't care whether it's lossless or lossy, but it sure sounds damn good. smile_phones.gif

post #19 of 47
Agree wirh above. Awesome with audio. Ever so slight delay with vid
post #20 of 47

Apple takes the music whether it be mp3, aac or wav and compressed it into Apple Lossless and sends that to the other device which decompresses it. See this article http://www.macworld.com/article/1030806/000212.html

post #21 of 47

^ Yep, but afaik AirTunes/AirPlay needs WiFi, so it won't work between your iPod and a headset for mobile use. Bluetooth is much more energy efficient than WiFi, btw.

post #22 of 47

Thanks James for mentioning Samsung HS3000.

I would like to see more aptX transmitter/receiver in the future. Preferably transmitter/receiver that are compatible with my Sansa Clip+ or iPhone 3GS.

 

I am currently using Sleek's Kleer wireless transmitter/receiver with SA6 earphones and like the sound and convenience. However, Sleek's wireless receiver has proprietary connections that fit only SA6s. DIY mod would be a pain with those, not to mention Sleek's wireless receiver has been out of stock for a long time.

post #23 of 47

Like james444 I've been testing using BT A2DP headsets for years, not only for the convenience of wireless audio in my urban life (listening to music outdoors, walking, cycling: to avoid entangling myself with wires and making unplanned falls of  pricy phones out of my pockets) but also indoor for all those times when I need to take a call when I've got my hands busy with typing, cooking, DIY, gym exercises, or whatever you can think of that would requires both hands' freedom of movement.

 

Of course most readers of this forum wouldn't care too much about audio quality for telephone calls but did you ever test HD Voice ? Even for phone calls I found that apt-x makes a big difference compared to standard A2DP. I'm no tech but I believe A2DP bandwidth limitation requires an additional codec compression which muffles the speech clarity while apt-x carries the full bandwidth of the (mono) audio call. This is even more noticeable using VoIP (which adds transcoding and deteriorates speech clarity): I just wasn't able to use standard BT with VoIP (NextGenCel, Skype, etc) before apt-x.

 

However "HD Voice" is not limited to VoIP : it is spreading fast on our Mobile Operators networks AND our handsets, the so-called AMR-WB (wide-band) codec is now used in almost 50 countries and many more handsets, spreading even faster now that it the HD Voice Codec is compulsory for voice over LTE (4G). Needless to say that this clarity is lost if you use a standard bluetooth heaset.

 

Unless you use apt-x: apt-x is be the logical missing link to enjoy wireless HD Voice on our mobile devices.

 

As for me I like in-hear style headphones and the choice is unfortunately very limited to just a couple of products out there. more than 6 months ago I've convinced myself with the Nokia Essence headset (they come with noise reduction feature too unfortunately they're a little too pricy AND quite hard to find).

 

While I used to connect my BT only when necessary in the past, I now have those on my neck all day long, along with my HTC One S.

 

I wish there were already more choice out there (shame Apple include it on their IOS devices already, that would have helped) but as james444 said: this is -dawn to- prime time for  wireless audio...

post #24 of 47

PrisonNurse suggested (by Private Message) I'd take a look at Jaybeard's new sport style Bluebuds X which I actually had already done by coincidence when I googled "apt-x earbuds" recently.

 

the funny thing is it seems the Bluebuds X are not using the apt-x codec: according to the description Jaybeard instead came up with a so called "Shift" enhancement of the native SBC codec...

 

no idea how good these are and would welcome any comment from any of the forum's users. Still,  I'm puzzled about why an apt-x google search comes up with this product if apt-x is not mentioned anywhere on the page nor on the specs..

 

Since my last post however HTC came out with their own apt-x compatible in-hear model : BH S600 which I've bought and tested. Indeniably good for calls but not as awesome/rich as the Nokia Essence model I mentioned earlier. The other downside of the HTC compared to the Nokia is you need to clip the main block to some part of your clothes to sustain it whereas the  Nokia comes as a necklace. Less discrete though...

post #25 of 47

I'm gonna reply to this old thread but I think its still relevant.

 

I'm not sure how many people really care for aptx but it seems like that unless you're actually playing lossless files, there's no benefit to lossless aptx.  If you're just playing a bunch of itunes 256 AAC, V0 mp3s, Internet radio, its not like lossless aptx is going to make those sound any better/different than BT-AAC.


Edited by shaocaholica - 11/13/13 at 4:34pm
post #26 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaocaholica View Post
 

I'm gonna reply to this old thread but I think its still relevant.

 

I'm not sure how many people really care for aptx but it seems like that unless you're actually playing lossless files, there's no benefit to lossless aptx.  If you're just playing a bunch of itunes 256 AAC, V0 mp3s, Internet radio, its not like lossless aptx is going to make those sound any better/different than BT-AAC.

 

I think this thread has somewhat died 'cos there are very few APT-x adopters - probably due to licensing. And even if a company does, they don't do it for everything (e.g. Apple supports APT-X for their MacOS but not for their iOS - well personally for me at least when I go wireless, it's usually when I'm "on-the-go" rather than sitting down somewhere with my latptop/notebook).

 

Although I've not had anything with APT-X, logically I may disagree with your above proposal 'cos I'd expect APT-X lossless to at least maintain the originally lossy file. Wouldn't standard Bluetooth standards be double-degrading an originally lossy quality?

post #27 of 47
I get where you're coming from. I think lossless wireless transmission of audio is and should be the goal but I also don't think it's a huge deal -IF- BT-AAC is as good as 256AAC or v0 mp3. That's assuming BT-AAC is 256 or better.

I try to avoid double encoding anything lossy but from practice I've also noticed it's not as bad as most people think. I can't speak for audio specifically but I'd wager it's inaudible for 256AAC double encoded or v0 mp3 encoded as 256AAC.
post #28 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaocaholica View Post

I get where you're coming from. I think lossless wireless transmission of audio is and should be the goal but I also don't think it's a huge deal -IF- BT-AAC is as good as 256AAC or v0 mp3. That's assuming BT-AAC is 256 or better.

I try to avoid double encoding anything lossy but from practice I've also noticed it's not as bad as most people think. I can't speak for audio specifically but I'd wager it's inaudible for 256AAC double encoded or v0 mp3 encoded as 256AAC.

 

I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I do agree on the goal, definitely no disagreement about that. The assumption part is where I think it's a topic of interest. Would BT-ACC further degrade a 256k lossy to something worse like 128k when connectivity between the transmitter and receiver starts to get dodgy?

 

Personally for me, I actually find lossy to be somewhat overrated. I don't deny I have FLAC, hires, and even DSD in soft format in my DAP, but to be honest, it's not like I don't enjoy my 256k VBR purchased AAC from iTunes any less. They're still quite listenable and enjoyable. Of course if lossless is there I'd opt for it, but I wouldn't say it's a "must have".

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaocaholica View Post
 

I'm gonna reply to this old thread but I think its still relevant.

 

I'm not sure how many people really care for aptx but it seems like that unless you're actually playing lossless files, there's no benefit to lossless aptx.  If you're just playing a bunch of itunes 256 AAC, V0 mp3s, Internet radio, its not like lossless aptx is going to make those sound any better/different than BT-AAC.

 

BT-aptX isn't lossless, but it sounds better to my ears than the usual BT-SBC encoding. As far as I know, there's no BT-AAC and your AAC files will be re-encoded to SBC for BT streaming.

 

That said, according to this comparison, even good old SBC has very good audio quality at 320kbps, with artifacts below hearing threshold.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

 

I think this thread has somewhat died 'cos there are very few APT-x adopters - probably due to licensing. And even if a company does, they don't do it for everything (e.g. Apple supports APT-X for their MacOS but not for their iOS - well personally for me at least when I go wireless, it's usually when I'm "on-the-go" rather than sitting down somewhere with my latptop/notebook).

 

Although I've not had anything with APT-X, logically I may disagree with your above proposal 'cos I'd expect APT-X lossless to at least maintain the originally lossy file. Wouldn't standard Bluetooth standards be double-degrading an originally lossy quality?

 

There seem to be very few aptX adopters here on head-fi, however the list of aptX compatible devices has been steadily growing ever since the start of this thread.

 

As I said above, BT streaming will always involve lossy re-encoding, regardless of whether SBC or aptX is used. From my point of view the question is, will you be able to hear the difference? Try opening a JPEG file in your photo editor and save it to a new file at 95% JPEG quality. The second file will obviously be a lossy degradation of the first one, but good luck on trying to discern the visual differences. (Of course, things will look different if you save the new file at 75% or lower).

post #30 of 47

I found this jem:

 

http://bernholdtech.blogspot.de/2013/03/Nine-different-audio-encoders-100-pass-recompression-test.html

 

I think its relevant.

 

I also did the jpeg encode over and over thing as an artsy thing a while back to see what would happen over thousands of re-encodes and turn it into an animation.  Sadly it wasn't very exciting.  Artifacts would appear immediately and then settle only after a few encodes.  Then the image was visually static over the next few thousand reencodes.  It must have reached some sort of stable entropy where the output was equal to the input.  And I was doing this at really high compression too like 20%.  I even tried nudging the image a few pixels and even half pixels every encode to throw it off but that didn't do anything terribly visually.  I even tried painting a big moving patch across the image but that didn't do much either.  I really wanted to see the artifacts grow more artifacts but thats apparently not how jpeg works.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › What are head-fi members views on apt-x lossless codec (over bluetooth)?