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Topic: What lossy format to use for Bluetooth transfer? (Read 357 times) previous topic - next topic
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What lossy format to use for Bluetooth transfer?

I am considering getting a bluetooth speaker, mainly for use in my garden, using audio source from my phone.
It seems to be quite hard getting some information in advance what bluetooth codecs are supported by which device, the most i can find is bluetooth version number and A2DP version number, but no info on codecs.

Now, I want to avoid transcoding audio during bluetooth playback at *ALL* costs. Currently my audio format on my phone is 96 kbps Opus, which is perfectly fine, but i know this won't play over bluetooth without transcoding.

What coded should I go for to have 100% guarantee that it's being played back by the bluetooth speaker natively without transcoding at acceptable sound quality?  Will I have more luck with LAME -V5 or should i stick to AAC? What parameters should I look for for the speaker to avoid transcoding?

Re: What lossy format to use for Bluetooth transfer?

Reply #1
Unless you also use a special music player application (I'm not sure if such applications exist yet), the transcoding will happen anyway because the (decoded) sound has to go through a system-wide audio mixer.
Do you use an Android-based device?

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Now, I want to avoid transcoding audio during bluetooth playback at *ALL* costs
At all costs? Why?
Do you want to avoid transcoding to reduce battery usage?
AFAIK, most bluetooth-specific codecs are specially designed to be energy efficient, so that might be not a big enough win in the end.
And no one of these bluetooth codecs will be transparent at 96 kbps (maybe except AAC, and maybe except MP3/LAME for some kinds of music — depends on your hearing), so you'll have to use more storage space if you switch from Opus.

 

Re: What lossy format to use for Bluetooth transfer?

Reply #2
In case this is about sound quality, it's not like a garden and a portable speaker make for an optimal listening experience.  Will transcoding make the situation any worse?  I doubt it.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: What lossy format to use for Bluetooth transfer?

Reply #3
AFAIK the only codec used both for music and BT A2DP in any significant way is AAC. Usually speakers and headphone manufacturers will advertise it if they use a non-SBC codec, it's selling point. Most modern Sony speakers and headphones use AAC at the very least, with higher tier ones using also LDAC. I know MP3 also can be used for BT, but no one that I know uses it, especially not any mainstream devices. In contrast, AAC over A2DP is supported in AOSP since Android 8.0, so probably all devices with 8.0 and above will support it. I think Apple also supports AAC on Bluetooth. Now if the devices will or won't reencode the AAC stream is up in the air, who knows.

 
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