Qualcomm has announced a new Bluetooth codec – aptX Lossless. As the name implies, the codec will provide lossless audio transmission: the company said that the signal in 16-bit / 44.1 kHz format (that is, in CD-quality) will be encoded and transmitted with bit-precision.
This is the main difference between this codec and the long-standing aptX HD: it supports operation with a signal of 24 bit / 96 kHz, but the encoding process itself is lossy. According to Qualcomm, aptX Lossless will be able to work in aptX HD mode – that is, it will transmit an audio stream in a higher resolution, but with lossy compression.
However, aptX Lossless provides ideal encoding only under ideal conditions – otherwise it dynamically adjusts the data transfer depending on the available bandwidth, scaling the speed in the range from 140 kbps to full 1 Mbps.
The release of such a codec by Qualcomm was prompted by the development of lossless streaming: more and more services supplement their catalogs with lossless audio, and it is the signal transmission from the mobile device to the headphones that becomes the weak link that spoils the quality.
It will be possible to enjoy devices with aptX Lossless soon: both sources that support the codec and headphones based on the corresponding chips will appear on the market in early 2022. Backward compatibility with existing equipment is not provided.