A method to improve fidelity for (almost) all Bluetooth audio
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Jun 26, 2005
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Jun 26, 2005
In this article, I describe the default SBC codec common in all Bluetooth audio (A2DP), and how it could easily be made to improve fidelity:


One of the important conclusions is that, if the source (SRC) negotiated the connection more wisely, SBC can improve audio fidelity *without making changes to the sink (SNK)*, which means it should work on the huge majority of legacy speakers, headsets, etc.

A few more teasers:

1. SBC sounds very good (likely impossible for most to ABX vs the original) when you appropriately increase the bitrate. (My article discusses how to do this.)
2. It should be possible to get ROM developers (and possibly standard Android, with enough pressure from the Android community) to increase the bitrate of SBC to levels such that its performance makes the more modern codecs moot. At least for 2 channel stereo, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz source material. (Check the audio samples at the end of my article to test for yourself.)
3. If this occurred, it would likely work with many/most of the existing speakers, headsets, etc, as SBC is required in every Bluetooth A2DP device, and has been since the ratification of the A2DP spec in 2003. No need to buy the latest hardware just to get access to better sounding codecs. (To be clear, this still needs broad testing to confirm compatibility.)
4. SBC is open source and royalty-free, making the above claims easy to test. I hope to help people doing this testing, but do not have all of the skills likely needed, nor 100% of my time to donate. I hope others will volunteer to help.
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