Android O Supports High-Quality Bluetooth Audio Codecs

Deezer Music AH 02

It looks like the latest version of Android will come with enhanced support for streaming audio over Bluetooth. Earlier today Google made available the first developer preview of Android O and as part of that announcement, Google notes that “Android O now also supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs.” In particular, the announcement references LDAC, which is a technology that has been brought to market by Sony and acts in a similar fashion to Qualcomm’s AptX solution.

For those unfamiliar with LDAC, the general premise is that the quality of audio on offer when streamed over Bluetooth is significantly better. Sony literally states that a higher depth and frequency range can be maintained during transmission due to “3x the data” being transmitted, compared to non-LDAC solutions. Aspects which result in an improved sound reproduction and high compression efficiency. In short, the bitrate being transmitted is much higher, resulting in a much better sound quality and less need for compression. Which is something that Sony already offers on much of its Walkman line of products. Therefore if you like the Walkman sound quality on offer, you will probably also like the sound quality on offer on devices that will be running Android O, as they will be utilizing the same underlying technology. Of course, this will still be dependent on the rest of your audio setup (headphones, speakers, etc) also being able to take advantage of the higher-quality transmission and reproduction.

It is also worth noting that there is a good chance that Android O also supports Qualcomm’s AptX. While Qualcomm’s solution was not necessarily namedropped like Sony’s LDAC was, the announcement was highlighting LDAC as an example of the supported “high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs”. So in addition to LDAC, Android O may also support AptX too. If that is the case, with AptX users can expect a CD-like listening experience over a wireless connection. Depending on which version is supported (AptX and/or AptX HD) determines the quality of the transmisson with AptX HD offering support for 24-bit music quality over Bluetooth and the non-HD version supporting 16-bit music quality.


In terms of Android O, while Google has now announced the first developer preview, with this being the first preview, it is expected to be far from the finished product. However, those who want to download and flash the factory image to their device, can do so by clicking here.