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Qualcomm aptX Lossless: Everything you need to know

 

Qualcomm launched aptX Lossless, a new feature of aptX Adaptive that offers CD-quality lossless audio via Bluetooth. AptX Lossless claims to produce theoretically bit-for-bit CD-quality audio at 16bit/44.1kHz, with bit rate scalability ranging from 1Mb/s to 140Kbit/s. When audio is encoded and decoded with aptX Lossless, Qualcomm claims no data is lost. When aptX Adaptive recognizes that the source file is lossless, the lossless audio option is automatically enabled.

aptX Adaptive works in collaboration with Qualcomm's "Qualcomm Bluetooth High Speed Link" technology to enable data throughput over 1Mbits/s and CD-quality lossless music. It easily scaled down to 140kbits/s in congested areas to avoid audio dropouts and glitches.

It's important to note that aptX Lossless isn't a brand-new Bluetooth codec. It's actually a component of the aptX Adaptive codec. To begin with, aptX Adaptive is a highly scalable Bluetooth codec that supports variable bitrates, minimal system latency, and high data throughput.

The new aptX Lossless will be part of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sound technology and will be part of the aptX Adaptive range of technologies.

That means it can be used to broadcast 1Mbps via Bluetooth when the radio (RF) circumstances are ideal. If the connection becomes unstable for whatever reason, aptX Adaptive can reduce the stream quality to as low as 140kbps. That way, you'll always be able to hear your music (or podcast, audiobook, etc.) in the greatest possible quality, even if it's not lossless at the time.

Features of aptX Lossless:

Bit-rate:  140 kbit/s – >1Mb/s

Supports 44.1kHz, 16-bit CD lossless audio quality

Designed to scale up to CD lossless audio based on Bluetooth link quality

Users can select between CD lossless audio 44.1kHz and 24-bit 96kHz lossy

Auto-detects to enable CD lossless audio when the source is a lossless audio

Difference between aptX Lossless and aptX HD

You might be under the impression that Qualcomm already has a high-resolution audio codec in the form of aptX HD. It can, in fact, transmit audio at a higher resolution than aptX Lossless, up to 24-bit 48kHz. However, the audio is compressed and not sent losslessly.

aptX HD has a maximum bitrate of 576kbps, but aptX Lossless has a maximum bitrate of 1Mbps.

Another advantage of aptX Lossless is that it can achieve 24-bit 96kHz if you are willing to accept lossy audio, making it versatile. Depending on your preferences, you will be able to choose between the modes.

Availability:

No headphones or earbuds currently support the new codec. True wireless in-ears and other headphones will need to support a new version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sound technology to be compatible. They will be available in early 2022.

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