You can listen to music wirelessly on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod with Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP). You can also use it with a headset or earphones for wireless telephone calls. What’s the distinction between Bluetooth A2DP and aptX? We’re talking about that in this tip!
Listening Bluetooth stereo with A2DP
From AirPods to copies of renowned audio products, you see more and more wireless earbuds. Bluetooth earphones have been out of the question for music lovers for a long time because the quality of audio would not be great enough. But the music sounds better and better because of fresh innovations, although you have to be careful which protocols are endorsed. In this tip, we clarify what is A2DP, the easiest Bluetooth streaming protocol. Moreover, aptX, a more sophisticated protocol, is available. We clarify the distinction and whether either one is supported by the AirPods and other earphones with the Apple W1 chip.
What is A2DP?
A2DP is the Advanced Profile for Audio Distribution. This is the norm for Bluetooth streaming audio. Every Bluetooth audio product you buy will now support A2DP, ranging from headphones to speakers and smartphones. The conventional A2DP operates with audio and supports the most popular audio compression codecs. You can stream at 48 kHz up to 345 kilobits per second with the SBC codec. This is similar to an MP3 of decent quality, but the audio quality is not yet CD. The performance is going to be around 256 kbit / s in practice. A2DP’s peak audio bandwidth is 728kbit / s, sounding fairly nice.
There is also support for MP3, of course. If the audio is compressed in MP3, AAC or ATRAC, it can be played on headphones or speakers immediately and must not be converted first. In reality, however, this often occurs, which eventually means you have poorer quality.
A2DP on your iPhone
Since the iPhone 3GS, A2DP has been supported, so all the new iPhones are suitable for it and you don’t need to set anything on your own. It automatically operates. Nowadays, when selecting your earbuds, you no longer have to think about it, because they almost always support A2DP. A2DP is one of the oldest components of the Bluetooth specification, so many products are already appropriate for it.
Support for the more sophisticated aptX is another story: it’s only on the Mac and not on the iPhone and iPad with Apple products.
What are the differences between A2DP and aptX?
Since 2015, Qualcomm has owned Bluetooth A2DP, a firm that Apple is in conflict with. This allows for much more complex future assistance of aptX on the iPhone. Furthermore, headphone companies will have to pay a license fee to use it. AptX is also a standard for compressions, such as SBC and MP3, but it takes more account of the restricted bandwidth and reduced energy on Bluetooth devices. AptX utilizes a proprietary compression technique that attempts to maintain the audio’s complete frequency variety while ensuring minimal information usage.
Ultimately, this should produce’ CD-like’ quality. Therefore, an aptX headset sounds much better than one that only supports A2DP, but the playback device (iPhone or something comparable) must be appropriate for it. If not, the music in normal A2DP quality will still be heard. AptX encodes and decodes quicker than A2DP and therefore creates less delay if you stream a video in which the audio is performed via a Bluetooth speaker, for instance. For instance, this is the case if you have wireless speakers linked to your TV.
A2DP and AirPods
The AirPods use Bluetooth (not AirPlay) and have Apple’s own W1 Bluetooth chip. This operates with at least iOS 10.2 installed iPhones. The AirPods ‘ streaming audio quality is better than the standard A2DP and the connection is nearly real-time, so you don’t get a replay delay. If you use an Android phone or any Bluetooth speaker to link the AirPods, then A2DP will be used. The aptX is not appropriate for the AirPods and the Beats earphones and headphones with W1 chip. Apple does not seem to plan to license other producers for W1 technology.
If you want better audio quality as an iPhone consumer than conventional A2DP, then use a product with a W1 chip like the AirPods is best. Read all about the AirPods in the following article. AptX isn’t an iPhone choice yet.
Taster control thanks to AVRCP
The headphones you use must support another Bluetooth profile, namely AVRCP (Audio / Video Remote Control Profile), in order to be able to control music playback with your wireless earphones. Since the iPhone 3 G, the iPhone has been present, so you don’t have to worry about that either. Without this feature, only the first generation iPhone continues for wireless earbud control.
You can use buttons to manage your iPhone as if it were a remote control if the earphones support AVRCP: you can play music videos, pause, change the volume and the like. Usually, these buttons are in the ear cups or in the neckband. You can see which Bluetooth profiles are endorsed on the various iPhones on a help page. Nothing has altered since the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPod touch (6th generation).