BLUETOOTH EARBUDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Posted by DeRossoGreg on

  • What are aptX and AAC? 

Without getting mired in too much technical detail, these 'codecs' allow for higher-resolution music playback than standard Bluetooth (sometimes referred to as SBC, although seldom by members of the general public). Apple iOS products support AAC and most Android mobile devices support Qualcomm's aptX.

The most important thing to remember is this, readers. Do you use an iPhone or iPad for music? Then aptX is useless to you, no matter how big the logo is on the headphones box. You need AAC compatibility. Mystifyingly, despite many iPhone owners being music fans with lots of disposable income, an awful lot of quite premium audio brands seem to have absolutely no idea what AAC even is. Alien Secret QCC010 supports APTX and AAC codecs, so whether you have an Iphone or an Android phone, you don't have to worry too much about it.

If you have an Android phone, most likely it supports aptX, so dive right in. There's also aptX HD, which claims to offer better than CD quality sound but is not very widely supported as yet. And aptX Low Latency, which is for watching films wirelessly (Bluetooth can otherwise introduce lag that makes for lip-synch issues akin to watching a 1970s, dubbed kung-fu movie).

Although they won't usually support it out of the box, you can force both Windows and Apple laptops to support aptX. I have no idea why this is as unnecessarily hard as it is, but it there we go. But trust me, it can be done. 

Apple laptops can also be made to support AAC, although again this is way less straightforward than you'd expect. You need to pretend to be a developer and download the Bluetooth Explorer app from Apple's dev site (or cheat and get it from 'elsewhere on the web'.)

In general, on most headphones, audio sent via either aptX or AAC sounds better than when sent without. 

It's not totally cut and dried: I've heard certain headphones (and Bluetooth speakers) that just use the standard SBC Bluetooth format, that sound better than certain other ones with AptX and AAC. They're not a magic formula for great audio on their own, but on average, they tend to sound better.

Although aptX and AAC offer sound quality roughly the same as CD, obviously that only applies if your source is putting out CD quality (or better) audio in the first place.

  • Bluetooth headphones: what else do you need to know?

Bluetooth cans today are generally far more stable in terms of connection than they were just a few years ago, and battery life has improved, too. As well as a norm of 4-5 hours for true wireless, 8-10 hours for in-ear buds and easily 20+ on over-ears and on-ears, a lot of newer headphones also charge rapidly, giving you several hours of playback for 15-30 minutes of charge.

If you keep your phone in your hip pocket, and especially if you then contort your body by looking around you, you may find the signal still cuts out as your bones and guts are very adept at blocking radio signals. 

However, from your hand, a breast pocket, placed on a desk or in one of those weird arm holster things for runners, you should rarely get any interference from these headphones. You can usually walk between 20-30 metres away from wherever the sound is coming from, although you generally can't leave the building and expect to still receive audio. Why would you do that anyway?

I recommend you could try to get QCC010 wireless headphones that'll give pleasure. After the experience of our engineers in Bluetooth signal transmission, our wireless headphones have always performed well in terms of signal stability, you can get a very solid Bluetooth headphones.


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