Astell&Kern XB10 Extreme Bluetooth Adapter

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by gr8soundz, Sep 6, 2016.
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  1. raypin
    Mm...currently using the XB 10 when I am using Apple TV (4th gen): with my CIEMs and the Audioquest Nightowl Carbon, for very late-night Netflix when everyone is asleep and I do not want to disturb them. Love it. Dialogue is much easier to understand.
  2. westermac
    Has anyone tried to use their XB10 while charging? I'm very curious because I would like to use it in my car as well as for headphones, and the battery life is kinda... short.
  3. Sythrix
    Just tried it. Works fine. It will flash intermittent blue in-between a constant red charging indication for the LED and still output music.
    westermac likes this.
  4. westermac
    Awesome, thanks for taking the time! I'll plan on ordering one then for my incoming Pixel 2 XL.
  5. Sythrix
    That's what I'm using mine for now that it came in. I was pleased when I hooked it up that by default it was using aptX HD. Sounds great. :beyersmile:
  6. trellus
    I can verify that iOS does, in fact, send notification sounds while playing my AAC tracks directly from the Music app. I am connected to my Sound Blaster E5 (which supports AAC) over Bluetooth from my iPhone 8 Plus, and I just now heard a notification sound play over my AAC track -- it lowered the volume of the track to play over it but the track was playing in the background, just at a lower volume -- then after the notification sound, the track volume went back to normal.

    I suppose it could very quickly swap from sending the untouched AAC stream to a mixer-ed version of it, and disguise the sleigh of hand since it's lowering the volume of the AAC track anyway while it's sending the mixed audio. But I've also had this question and have yet to find a satisfactory answer as to whether an iOS device is ever sending the raw AAC stream or recompressing it always in order to maintain that mixer function.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  7. gorman
    If it's doing this in a gapless/seamless way, my money is in recompression happening all the time.
  8. james444 Contributor
    AFAIK all bluetooth A2DP transmission is packet oriented. Since splitting and reassembling VBR files is no trivial task, I'd assume there's recompression happening all the time.
    trellus likes this.
  9. trellus
    Thanks, that makes sense to me. I was having difficulty believing the claims of people who were touting AAC codec over BT as somehow not lossy if the original files being streamed are AAC, e.g., from Apple Music or local AAC files on the iDevice, because of the experience I was hearing with notification sounds being clearly mixed in.
  10. WAS55
    AK released the 1.21 firmware for the AK320 a few days ago. Although not stated in the release notes, AK have fixed the bluetooth compatibility issue with Bose speakers that I wrote about almost exactly 1 year ago. I installed the new firmware and my AK 320now streams perfectly to any of a Soundlink 30, a Soundlink 10 or a Soundlink Revolve.
  11. tryzub
    Anyone interested in picking up an XB10, they're $99 USD everywhere right now, including A&K's website. I almost pulled the trigger a couple of days ago on Amazon when it was sitting at $108 and change. Glad I waited. :)
  12. Audiowood
    Anyone notice that the balance has a smaller soundstage compare to non-balance jack?
  13. sandy1010
    So if I’m understanding this correctly, only the Apple Music app itself uses AAC for Bluetooth? What do Tidal & Spotify default to on IOS?
  14. gorman
    As far as I know all services use either SBC or AAC on iOS products. Because it's independent from the service decision. Spotify streams Vorbis, IIRC, it gets decoded on your iOS device and then sent via Bluetooth using either SBC or AAC (with AAC being preferred by being the more advanced codec of the two).

    As we've been discussing, all indicators point to AAC never being sent directly through. Even when music is originally encoded in AAC format (such is the case for Apple Music). This is because the device needs to mix in system sounds. But you can read about this above.
    sandy1010 likes this.
  15. Baroninkjet
    Has anyone ever seen any detailed tests with an aptX HD source? I just ordered on to try for my car audio with Pixel 2. Will report back once I get it.

    p.s. WorldWide Stereo still has them at $99 Black Friday price.
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