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

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by anakchan, Mar 19, 2012.
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  1. SparkOnShore

    As far as I see you are what we call "audiophile", and for sure you are not after simple and medium priced solutions. What are you looking for in BT then? I don't think you can find the quality you enjoy with the hybrids in a BT set. I am looking forward to the Apple's BT option, but I never use so expensive headphones as you do, so for me BT is fine but for you I guess it is not...
  2. StanD
    I'm not a purist nor a subjectivist audiophile. I haven't found wired earbuds under $100 that I enjoy, but do not spend over $500 on IEMs either. I do have some BT headphones that are not inexpensive nor are they very expensive. Without a question my two Planars/Orthos and Senn HD600 are my favorites, but these are for fixed position home use.
    I have a pair of Samsung Level Over BT headphones (aptx, anc) that I got for a one day low price at BestBuy, probably because they made a mistake and honored it. I was going home on a bus and saw this one their web site, so I got of the bus and scooped it up. The next day the price was $75 higher. These are the over ear. not under ear.
    recently I picked up a pair of Jabra Halo Smart BT earbuds with a collar that sound decent for $80. Not aptx or anything exotic, the transducers seem to make the difference and when commuting one doesn't need the absolute best as the environment is not conducive to critical listening. I changed the tips to Comply memory foam which is more comfortable and provides better isolation.
  3. SparkOnShore

    I refuse to pay more than 150-200 eur for headphones. Since I always use iPhones that cost around 900 to 1000 eur and do WAY more things for me, I think that headphones with just drivers, even good ones, should never cost more than the 10-20% of the phone's value. Otherwise it's like stealing to me...

    I can listen to and enjoy good music with 50-60 or 100 euros iems. I am fine like that since my ears never understood huge differences in some tests that I have done over the years, with much more expensive gear...I liked the wired Solo2, a little expensive for me but enjoyable sound and quite balanced I may say. Most probably I will go with the BeatsX wireless, since it will include the W1 chip, keeping I guess the same new Beats sound which is just fine for me. Neckband cable seems to be of good quality and quite flexible, so I guess I will be ok...
  4. james444 Contributor
    Regardless of DSP, the mere fact that A2DP is a packet oriented protocol makes recompression mandatory imo:
    castleofargh likes this.
  5. StanD

    We'll have to disagree on that. I believe headphones make the big difference and when I sit down to enjoy music the proper kit makes a huge difference. I will not spend thousands on DACs and Amps nor buy a $5K set of Stax electrostatics cans, however, the cheapest headphones I've ever found that sound great are Senn, HD600's which just break the budget you've outlined, but not by much. I'll use a smartphone as a USB source but at home connect to a decent external DAC and headphone Amp. With the right set of headphones the sound is awesome. One can catch the impact of drums and the metallic clink and clang of cymbals with incredible realism. The bass extends way down low and does not boom so one can clearly hear and make out each individual note in the melodic line of the bass. I can always enjoy music with any decent kit, however, stepping it up a bit makes a big difference to me. No, I will not go overboard with DACs and Amps that have specs that exceed human perception as I'm not interested in pleasing the lab equipment used for measurements.
  6. SparkOnShore

    I've listened and produced music myself on different systems, in studios and at home; passive speakers with amplifiers, monitor speakers, brands like Dynaudio, Genelec and the like...To be honest with you when I first plugged a Shure SE215 which costed me 80 eur to an iPhone 5s, I said my God!! It's equal or even better than many systems I had heard...To each their own, but my opinion is that good headphone can be made with less money. It can't cost more than the actual device it plays from, which gives you so so many different uses. Maybe you ask for more though, so I can't judge, but for a simple and as accurate as possible music's presentation, my experience says that there is no need to fork out a lot...Just my opinion of course...
  7. StanD

    No doubt that the more expensive the headphone the bigger the gap is between the selling price and cost of materials. Better headphones require more labor, better QA and sell in lower volume which are probably factors in the higher cost, also it's what the market will bear. So unfortunately it costs more. So it's a question of how far one is willing to go.
    I will say those Samsung Level Over cans (aptx) over Bluetooth with my Galaxy Note 3 sounds awfully good, despite the whinging of bluetooth naysayers. The Android app for the Level Overs has OK EQ, however, I much prefer the EQ in the better player apps that I use.
  8. SparkOnShore

    I agree with you. I think BT can give good audio quality as well as a natural sound presentation nowadays. I plan to turn to BT as well for when I am out...Bored of tangled cables...:))
  9. StanD

    I also have a Nyrius Bluetooth receiver that supports aptx and has optical TOS and RCA line outputs and not so important NFC for pairing. I use this with my Galaxy Note, DAC and Headphone Amp. Purists will scoff at the Bluetooth connection but it sounds pretty good and aptx works with it. Of course I also use a USB OTG connection between my Android devices and the DAC or a LIghtning CCK to USB connection from my iPod Touch to my DAC.
    I also have a similar Bluetooth connection to my Home Theatre system, works nicely.
  10. SparkOnShore

    Those are many devices!! I prefer to be light and simple, especially when out...I found out that iPhone + iems or ever better iPhone + wireless BT earphones are more than enough for me to enjoy good sound. Just the happiness of being so light and at the same time get so high grade audio, is a rare feeling that I personally would not change for the addition of a brick type device with possibly little better tremble or probably kind of deeper bass extension...
  11. StanD

    You have to compare the two to hear the difference, it is very noticeable as in big and has more to do with the headphones rather than anything else. Contemporary Bluetooth isn't such a big factor as some people make it out to be. I've compared it all.
  12. reg66
    sorry to disturb your conversation guys! i understand this is a headphone site but you may be able to help
    i'm wondering if can enlighten me on this:
    i have a laptop with regular BT 4.0 paired to some Dali zensor 1 ax's (plus BK sub for extension). i'd like to know if i can expect a significant enhancement by using BT 4.0 with aptX?
    i'm thinking of getting a Creative BT-W2 USB Transceiver (low latency aptX) to plug in my laptop, but £30+ is a fair bit just for BT adapter especially if it's only going to make a marginal difference, if any at all.
    @StanD you seem pretty clued up, any opinions?
  13. StanD
    I find that unless you have pretty bad Bluetooth components in the chain, aptx is not nearly as important as a good headphones or speakers.
    In this case the Dali's come with aptx so you might as well harness it.  I would look carefully at the Dali's as I'm not a fan of Class D Amps which are not linear but are PWM switching amplifiers. But then again I haven't heard them so I really can't say. Have you been able to listen to them in a proper setting so that you could evaluate them? Have you listened to good quality systems so that you know what to listen for? The Creative BT-W2 USB Transceiver is Bluetooth 2.1 which is old, but at least has EDR. I might look for a BT transmitter that is more up to date.
  14. lampuiho
    That's not the point of the discussion. You should be comparing BT headphones with similar construct and response that use aptX with those that have proper AAC decoder.
  15. StanD
    Firstly there are few that support AAC and they are nothing to write home about, so if one is looking for good sound then the exercise has no value. My point being that you can have the best decoding circuitry with a lousy transducer and it will perform poorly and a product without aptx or ACC but has good transducers will sound much better. Perhaps down the road there will be a selection of improved AAC devices, until them it's not for me. If one feels otherwise, they make their own value judgements, I'm just expressing my opinion.
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