Qualcomm is bringing CD-quality audio to Bluetooth via aptX Lossless.

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Qualcomm is bringing CD-quality sound over Bluetooth through aptX Lossless

Forget about wires; lossless audio quality delivered via Bluetooth is the next big thing in music listening.

With music apps like Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music now supporting CD-quality audio, it was only a matter of time before Qualcomm updated aptX to allow lossless audio via Bluetooth. After all, the alternative appears to be utilising a USB DAC connected to your phone, which does not appear to be very practical.

When Tidal launched in 2014, it was the first music app to stream music at CD-quality. Five years later, Amazon followed Tidal’s footsteps and introduced a premium subscription including lossless audio. Earlier this year, Spotify announced it would introduce a CD-quality option to their apps later this year, followed by Apple, which already released a lossless audio option in its Music app.

Many were pleased to hear the news that their favorite music apps would receive lossless audio support. However, 24-bit 96kHz lossy was the best Bluetooth solutions offered, leaving the lossless audio option limited to a fraction of users.

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Now that’s changing as Qualcomm introduces aptX Lossless, a new aptX Adaptive technology and Snapdragon Sound feature that delivers CD-quality 16-bit 44.1kHz (lossless) audio streaming over wireless, allowing you to listen to music with a maximum bit rate of 1Mbps.

Despite the addition of a new 16-bit 44.1KHz audio option, the previous 24-bit 96KHz lossy mode will remain available. With this in mind, Qualcomm will enable customers to switch between both streaming modes manually or automatically via Qualcomm High Speed Link, identifying the source and activating the most appropriate mode as needed.

The first headphones and earbuds that support this technology are slated to appear between later this year and early 2022, so you’ll have to wait a little longer before you can listen to your favourite tunes in Hi-Res on the move without a DAC.


Images credit: bruce mars, Minh Pham


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