What Is Bluetooth aptX HD?
In short technical terms, aptX HD is an audio codec that supports 24-bit audio file transmission via Bluetooth and reduces signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in lower distortion.
Now in plain terms, aptX HD allows you to send audio of dramatically higher-quality from your phone, tablet, or computer than other wireless formats. AptX HD really is a breakthrough in easy-to-use technology and a must-have for all your music.
Why Do You Need It?
Need is such a funny word and that’s why this topic gets a bit subjective.
The fact is, you may not need aptX HD if you don’t care much about having access to pristine HD audio at all times. Some listeners will find traditional Bluetooth audio to be perfectly satisfactory; this is sort of an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. The truth is, many listeners aren’t even aware that they are losing audio data during wireless transmission; they don’t realize that the best details of their music, movies, and games are all getting misplaced over the air.
In our experience, however, when a listener is introduced to audio sent via aptX HD they are instantly able to tell the difference. As soon as users get one taste of the luxurious transmission range and lossless, buttery sound of aptX HD, it is highly unlikely they will ever go back to using a lesser Bluetooth codec. AptX HD audio is, to put it simply, superior in every way to that of older standards and the difference can be heard by audiophiles as well as novice or casual listeners alike.
For a more in-depth look at what aptX HD is and why you need it and for a breakdown of the technical differences between aptX HD and standard Bluetooth, please read our article on Bluetooth Audio and Codecs.
How To Know If Your Devices Are aptX HD Compatible…
In order for you to actually take advantage of aptX HD, both the “sending” and “receiving” devices need to support aptX HD.
If you are using Audioengine's A5+, HD3 or HD6 home music systems on the “receiving” end of the wireless setup, you are starting off on the right foot as all of these wireless speakers come stock with the aptX HD codec implemented and ready to roll. Now, let’s take a look at your “sending” device to determine its compatibility. AptX HD was developed by a company called Qualcomm. Qualcomm is doing an excellent job by working with consumer electronics manufacturers to get aptX HD integrated into as many smartphones, tablets, headphones, etc., as possible.
You can find a full list of devices which are currently aptX HD compatible on Qualcomm’s website by clicking here.
Checking this list is, by and large, the easiest way to determine whether or not your “sending” device is aptX HD compatible.
There are a number of manufacturers out there who have taken the step towards providing better audio by electing to include the aptX HD codec in their music systems; but there are also a great many who have, thus far, opted out. Apple, for example, has decided, for the time being, to stick with the AAC codec -- which is still high quality, although not commonly accepted to be on the same level as aptX HD. Luckily, Audioengine products are still compatible with the AAC codec as well as standard aptX and SBC.
So even if your smartphone or tablet does not offer aptX HD, you should still be able to transmit standard quality audio via Bluetooth to your Audioengine Wireless Home Speakers. And also try to be patient as aptX HD is growing rapidly in popularity and Qualcomm is adding new products to their list of compatible devices every day.