OnQ Blog

Replacing the wire with aptX Adaptive audio codec [video]

At Qualcomm we constantly look to invent the technology that helps to transform the mobile experience. Now with aptX Adaptive, we are helping to transform the future of wireless audio listening. This groundbreaking new audio coding technology combines robust premium audio quality, low-bit rate audio transmission, scalability, and the opportunity for low-latency designed to deliver the ultimate superior wireless listening experience.

In practice, the codec is designed to adjust automatically to provide optimum audio quality depending on what content is being played on the device and the external radio frequency (RF) environment.

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With this new codec, we aim  to truly replace the wire and support the next generation of wireless audio across applications and a wide range of devices — including smartphones, tablets, headphones, gaming headsets, and speakers.

Why wireless audio now?

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A combination of factors has led to demand for high-quality wireless audio. OEMs have begun removing the headphone jack from their devices to allow for slimmer designs, larger batteries, and water resistance, leading to an increase in wireless headphone usage. Additionally, the type of content that is being consumed on mobile devices is changing, with consumers doing much more than listening to audio. Our 2018 State of Play report found that 30 percent of consumers surveyed said they want to use their wireless headphones for gaming or to watch video content in addition to listening to music and making calls.

But with these changes, consumers are realizing that going wireless doesn’t mean having to compromise on audio quality. There’s also an increase in the number of tech savvy consumers who demand smooth user experiences that “just work.” With wired headsets, they don’t have to worry about RF performance or the type of content being played. Now they want that same “just works” experience from their wireless headsets.

Why aptX Adaptive?

aptX Adaptive technology is engineered to be dynamically adjustable. This means it’s made to react to important dimensions of operation and varying environmental conditions, including the type of content that is being consumed and the external RF environment.

For consumers, this means superior audio content that is indistinguishable from CD, according to a test conducted by the University of Salford in 2015, and hi-resolution quality — even in noisy RF environments. Plus, the dynamic adjustability is engineered to be automatic and occur without any action from the user, so that it can deliver on that desired “just works” experience.

Audio innovation

There are codecs currently available that claim to deliver high-res audio, but they’re generally unsuitable for applications beyond music listening. This is incompatible with the experience today’s mobile users are craving — plus, some of these codecs are static in nature and their use of fixed bit-rates can lead to wireless connectivity issues in challenging RF environments.

Dynamic adjustability is designed to solve this. aptX Adaptive is engineered to deliver smooth performance, superior robustness, and high-quality wireless listening experiences, along with an absence of dreaded audio/video lip synchronization issues. While we expect upcoming devices will support these experiences, aptX Adaptive is also backwards compatible with the many aptX- and aptX HD-enabled devices already available.

The aptX Adaptive decoder, for devices such as headsets, headphones, and speakers, are planned to be available to customers on the Qualcomm CSRA68100 and the Qualcomm QCC5100 series Bluetooth audio SoCs by the end of September.

A version of the aptX Adaptive encoder for smartphones and tablets is expected to be available on Android by the end of the year.

Learn more about aptX Adaptive audio.

Qualcomm aptX, Qualcomm CSRA68100 and Qualcomm QCC5100 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

 

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