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Topic: LDAC vs aptx vs sbc (bluetooth audio) (Read 28562 times) previous topic - next topic
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LDAC vs aptx vs sbc (bluetooth audio)

Good info on the LDAC.  I wonder if it will really take off, as I think that, despite the future Android support, I'm not sure what problem it is solving.  If you want higher resolution, it seems that cast and airplay are already in place and have the solid backing of lots of influential players.
It's solving the problem of Sony not having a proprietary format to push in this decade. Joking aside, it's not so much a direct competition to Airplay/Cast, since it's a BT codec, you don't need WiFi. It's a direct competition to aptX. Both are proprietary codecs that work through A2DP. BT in general also has much less latency than Airplay/Cast, both of which are impossible to do for video (unless you're streaming video/audio together), so for instance, no video watching on your phone and sound playing on your Airplay/Cast speaker. And forget about games. BT sometimes can support even games. Dunno if LDAC has any improvements on latency, but aptX has a low-latency codec, unfortunately I'm not sure if it's that popular. I've only seen one super crappy noisy as hell adapter that I bought and returned at Amazon.

Why would you want 96 kHz/24 bit music to be played through a portable speaker that, due to its portability, has to make all sorts of compromises?
Personally, I don't care about "hi-res" audio, but Sony is pushing it relatively hard. I don't like that marketing part of it, but on the other hand they are coming out with interesting products that not many other brands are, like their portable Cast speakers. I'm mildly interested in LDAC not for the "hi-res", but for the much higher bitrate than regular SBC. I would rather them concentrate in reducing latency though, than silly hi-res marketing that should have died in the 90's.

My hunch is that the portable audio community will work out the network routing implicit with needing a common access point for wifi, and that is much easier to solve than introduction of a new bluetooth codec.
There is WiFi Direct, but from what I've found myself, it's a mess. More miss than hit, to be honest. And I'm pretty sure its main feature, being able to stay connected to a WiFi access point and at the same time connecting via WiFi Direct to another device, requires hardware support that I don't think any current phone has (that I know of).

PS: btw, I don't remember where I got that the XB3 supported aptX, apparently it doesn't. I know some of the older speakers did, like the x7, but the newer ones like my x77 stopped supporting it in favor of their own proprietary codec. Just Sony being Sony.

So I moved this codec discussion to its own thread.

Re: LDAC vs aptx vs sbc (bluetooth audio)

Reply #1
This discussion began as a tangent from another thread when we were discussing bluetooth audio.  I was questioning the value of a higher-than-aptx bitrate audio codec for wireless audio, as aptx is pretty transparent to most people, and if you need a higher bandwidth, well that's what wifi is for.

andy, aptx was designed with low latency as a primary consideration.  There is even a "low latency" variant called aptx ll, but I do not know how widely it is distributed.  Still, I still find it to have some lip-sync issues when, e.g. I am watching a movie on a tablet by have an aptx headphone audio connection to the same tablet.  I usually give up and go to direct wired connection.

I totally understand your distinction between BT for audio and casting.  True, the wireless routing can get somewhat tricky if you need wifi to cast, as that usually turns off mobile data on most phones.  But it need not.  It makes sense to turn off the cellular radio when you are connected to the Internet via wifi, especially for the phone.  But it is not technically hard.  In fact, any phone that offers portable hotspot is doing it already (keeping wifi and cellular radio on at the same time).

Re: LDAC vs aptx vs sbc (bluetooth audio)

Reply #2
As far as the higher bitrate, I find even sbc at 328 kbps (high quality) to be pretty good.  However, most people experience bluetooth audio with sbc at medium quality, which is very noticeable (and not in a good way).

My limited experience is that iPhones are more likely to be successful to negotiate up to the higher quality of sbc, while my Samsung Note 5 (a premium phone at the time of its release) will only get medium quality sbc, unless the receiver has aptx.  (My Note 5 also has aptx.)

Does anyone have any first-hand expertise understanding why iPhones are able to to consistently get sbc high quality profile?

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