Qualcomm’s Bluetooth codecs are quite impressive. Whether they’re better than the competition is another story, but they’re the most popular and well supported. Currently there are two: aptX HD and aptX Low Latency. One is for quality while the other prevents the delay that plagues Bluetooth.
Today Qualcomm has announced a new codec that combines the two. aptX Adaptive can do both: you can get “better than CD” quality or lower latency depending on what you require and how good your connection is. When you’re listening to music, you’ll get the best quality possible. When watching a movie, latency will be prioritized. The max bitrate is lower than aptX HD but Qualcomm claims that the quality is just as good thanks to improvements in compression.
The codec will make this determination during use to guarantee the best possible experience. Current devices that support aptX HD should be able to take advantage of aptX Adaptive if they’re on Android Pie, but receiving devices will need a new audio chip, so your current hardware won’t be able to use it.
Combining two codecs into one sounds like a great idea to us, and anything that improves the audio quality of Bluetooth is welcome. We do wonder how well the content adaptation will work, and if specific apps will have to have support added for the codec.