Bose Soundlink With Apt-x

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theobjr

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I have a bose soundlink 2 that I plugged in an avantree saturn bluetooth adapter with apt-x in the 3.5mm output.
I must say that the soundlink does sound much, much better with apt-x technology and 256-320kbps mp3's.
I asked Bose whether they will ever incorporate apt-x in their products, but they were somewhat vague in saying it may be a consideration for the future.
I actually wish that I would have purchased a different high end bluetooth speaker that has apt-x technology such as the sony btx-500.
I suppose that when apt-x becomes more widespread in devices (most specifically apple products), then more companies will use apt-x bluetooth as a standard.
It makes no sense to stream through regular bluetooth when you have quality music files that cannot be heard fully given that normal A2PD only streams at 192kbps. (?)
Does anyone know whether a firmware upgrade for the soundlink could somehow incorporate an apt-x update?
 

kornchild2002

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Unless your device has proper aptX support, you aren't gaining anything when using that unnecessary bluetooth adapter (why get a bluetooth adapter for something that has bluetooth built-in?). Your device needs to have aptX hardware and codec support in order to actually playback the format. ANYTHING else is nothing more than an equalizer that is applied to your music before it is being sent through the 3.5mm connection. The point of the aptX codec is that it allows one to use a lower bitrate while still observing audible CD quality. The group behind aptX claims that their codec provides perceptual CD quality at around 56kb/s, their lossy codec supports up to 5.1 channels and they even have a lossless codec. Either way, aptX is an audio codec, not something that you can stream your mp3's through to make them sound better. What you are hearing is likely dynamic compression applied by the bluetooth unit.

Given that aptX requires both the software and hardware to properly decode aptX encoded files, a firmware update could never add that compatibility. Bose would need to implement a unit with an aptX compliant chip in order to receive and decode an aptX audio file being streamed to it.

You are off on your bluetooth streaming bandwidth. Most bluetooth speakers rely on bluetooth 2.1+EDR (some use bluetooth 3.0, I haven't seen any that support bluetooth 4.0 yet). When EDR was introduced with bluetooth 2.0, it increased the bandwidth of bluetooth to an average of 2.1Mbit/s (2150.4kb/s). The A2PD profile instructs how audio is streamed via bluetooth, it does not govern the bandwidth. Right now bluetooth is able to handle lossless stereo audio without issues, that's just over bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Bluetooth 4.0 is able to handle an average of 26Mbit/s and peak data streams even higher than that. A2PD is just instructions for codec streaming support over a bluetooth channel, it doesn't specify a given bandwidth/bitrate that the content is streamed. That is all governed by the type of bluetooth hardware being used. A2PD does limit the amount of audio channels being sent (2.0) but new profiles are being worked on that support 5.1 and 7.1 channels with bluetooth 4.0.

Either way, aptX isn't going to take the world by storm. It isn't implemented in very many devices at this point (three lines of Android smartphones by Motorola, HTC, and Samsung) and manufacturers would need proper hardware chips to decode aptX audio. The same claims were made years ago about Liquid Audio, WMApro, mp3pro, and many more audio formats like that. They have yet to make a dent in the audio world outside of a few things that support them.
 

theobjr

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Thanks for the info.
I actually used two adapters- one transmitting, one receiving.
It really did make a big difference as far as the clarity of the music.
 

kornchild2002

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I suggest you read more up on a common phenomena in the audio world. Your Bose system already has a built-in bluetooth receiver. Seeing as how many devices now ship with Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, I see no reason to use some silly transmitter on said devices and a receiver on the Bose unit especially when all of that stuff, aside from the highly overrated aptX, is built-in.
 

theobjr

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aptx makes a difference

I think I know the effect you are talking about, sort of like a placebo.
But I was using a transmitter that has aptx along with the receiver that I plugged into the 3.5mm aux that also has aptx.
I can honestly say that transmitting (and receiving) bluetooth with aptx sounds much clearer than when transmitting to the soundlink via regular bluetooth.
 

kornchild2002

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Unless you performed a blind, volume matched listening test, your results fall ill to the placebo affect. No matter what claims are made, even by me, they fall flat without blind volume matched comparisons. That's why blind ABX tests are constantly used when determining lossy audio codec (mp3, AAC, WMA, etc) performance. Otherwise people can make all sorts of outrageous claims and we would have to accept them.
 
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