Qualcomm aptX Lossless: CD quality via Bluetooth

Qualcomm has introduced aptX Lossless Audio under the umbrella of its Snapdragon sound technology, a new codec for lossless CD quality.


  • Qualcomm aptX Lossless Audio officially launched
  • Supports lossless CD quality (16 bit at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz) via Bluetooth
  • Availability from the end of 2021

Lossless audio is a new trend in music streaming services. Both Amazon Music Unlimited and Apple Music offer their customers: meanwhile strong sound inside at no extra charge, and Spotify wants to follow suit. Problem with this, as we discovered in the lively debate about the Apple AirPods Max: We don’t always benefit from this quality with wireless headphones. This is exactly where Qualcomm comes in with aptX Lossless Audio.

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Lossless CD quality via Bluetooth

A few months ago Qualcomm presented its Snapdragon sound technology, which has now been expanded to include the aptX Lossless Audio codec. Qualcomm has given us a lossless audio codec that also delivers CD-quality via Bluetooth. Be sure to read Ben’s article, which tells you everything you need to know about Bluetooth codecs like AptX.

According to Qualcomm, 16 bits are supported at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, which corresponds to lossless CD quality. The quality is scaled depending on the Bluetooth connection or on user request. As a user: you also have the choice of 24-bit audio at 96 kHz. If the connection quality is poor, it is scaled down to 140 kbit / s, but in the best case just under 1 Mbit / s is possible. You also adapt yourself through automatic detection, which checks whether a source is delivering a lossless audio signal.

The codec should automatically activate lossless audio as soon as a lossless title is played. Qualcomm lists the following features and specifications for aptX Lossless in its announcement:

  • Supports 44.1kHz, 16-bit CD lossless audio quality
  • Scaling to lossless CD audio quality based on the quality of the Bluetooth connection
  • The user can choose between lossless CD audio (44.1 kHz) and lossy 24-bit audio (96 kHz)
  • Automatic detection to enable lossless CD audio when the source is a lossless audio
  • Mathematically, bit-for-bit accurate
  • Bit rate – ~ 1Mbps

Availability from the end of 2021

The catch is that we only benefit from this new codec with the appropriate new hardware. It shouldn’t take too long, though, as James Chapman (Vice President and General Manager, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd) explains:

As many leading music streaming services now offer extensive lossless music libraries and consumer demand for lossless audio grows, we are excited to announce this new support for lossless CD audio streaming for Bluetooth headphones and To be able to announce headsets that we want to make available to our customers this year.

Will the first products appear this year? I don’t think so. But at the beginning of 2021 there will be a lot on the ears – and wireless too. But if that is too long for you and you are urgently looking for new in-ear Bluetooth headphones, please take a look at the price comparison tool of our partner Geizhals.de:

Via: Cauchy’s blog
Source:
The Verge

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