Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth Review: Improving Wireless Sound


Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth Review: Improving Wireless Sound.

This is more of a review of aptX Bluetooth technology than the headphones per se. I was thinking of adding some Bluetooth zones in my home to play music for my mom; looks like it wouldn't be a bad idea. She loves wartime tracks from the 1930's, Jazz, Gospel, Big band sound, etc. A few 15w per channel Bluetooth Class D amps and bookshelf speakers should make her happy.

Seems that the author of the article thought that pop music sounded identical to the source for the most part. It's when he played Jazz with it's complex layered sound passages that aptX failed his ears. Basically tracks that contain a lot of different sounds at once are it's Achilles heel. The author does note that there is a aptX HD version out also, but he hasn't tested it.

Here’s why I came away highly impressed with aptX, even if I think I could tell the difference from wired headphones with some music: I had to really push the technology, listening carefully using the most complex audio I could think of, to hear a noticeable difference. What I mean is that, had I been using the aptX-connected headphones purely for enjoyment, then I would be hard pressed to tell you “I can hear a difference”. For the most part I forgot that they were wireless, and just listened - and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process.

In closing, I urge anyone considering a high-quality Bluetooth audio solution to look for the aptX logo. More and more products are being introduced using an implementation of aptX (be it the standard version or HD and low-latency variants), and it clearly makes a difference. I categorize it as 'audiophile-approved Bluetooth', but regardless of your level of enthusiasm for sound quality I think you'd be very pleased with the results.
There are several different bluetooth audio formats, each of which worse than the other. A cable is still needed for best quality.

The problem with aptX is that it's not enough to have a supporting amp - you need to have a phone that supports it too. And iPhones for example lack the support.