Back when Bluetooth audio was new, there was a big difference between the sound quality of a pair of wireless headsets and wired headsets. Since then, these differences have been reduced, and the price of high-quality wireless audio products has also decreased. Today, it is possible to buy a decent pair of Bluetooth headsets for less than Rs. 5,000, and get good audio performance immediately.

However, there is a small, fast, simple and free trick that can help you get more benefits from wireless headphones and earphones when used with Android smartphones-adjust the Bluetooth codec. Follow the steps below to learn how to improve Bluetooth audio on your Android smartphone for free.

What is a Bluetooth codec?

Before entering the steps, let us briefly explain the concept of the Bluetooth codec. Bluetooth relies on a specific program or “code” that compresses data from the source device for fast and seamless wireless transmission, and then decompresses the data on the headset or speaker. Different codecs have different functions, and some of the newer and more advanced codecs can efficiently transmit more data packets.

The most commonly used Bluetooth codec is SBC (Subband Codec), which is considered a universal standard and exists in almost all Bluetooth devices today. However, there are newer and more advanced codecs, including AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), Qualcomm aptX and Sony LDAC.

Bluetooth is getting better, but wireless audio still has a long way to go

How does it work?

Many Android smartphones allow you to adjust the codec in use, and support this feature starting with Android Oreo. The operating system usually selects the SBC codec by default, but in some cases, you may be able to change to a better codec (if available). For example, when using a smartphone supported by a Qualcomm chipset with a headset that supports aptX or aptX HD codec, the smartphone will automatically select a better codec.

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At other times, switching codecs is a manual process. Remember, the headset or speaker also needs to support the codec to work properly. Fortunately, this is a simple process that works on Android 8.0 Oreo and higher.

Which codec should I choose?

It depends on which codecs your Bluetooth headset supports, which is something you should consider before buying a new wireless headset. Support for high-quality codecs (such as Qualcomm aptX and Sony LDAC) is ideal, but usually limited to high-end headphones and headphones.

In addition to SBC, many affordable headphones support the AAC codec. In these cases, since AAC is more advanced than SBC, manually switching to AAC can improve the audio quality of the headset. For high-end headphones, switching to Qualcomm aptX or Sony LDAC will greatly improve the sound quality. Although aptX will be automatically activated on many Android smartphones, in most cases, LDAC must be activated manually.

How to change the Bluetooth codec on an Android smartphone

Here is how to change the Bluetooth codec being used by an Android smartphone and improve the final audio quality:

  1. If it has not been activated, please activate the developer options on your smartphone.To do this, go to your Android smartphone Set value > About phone/about equipment >Quickly tap the internal version number of the phone seven times. This will enable the developer options on the smartphone, allowing you to access more adjustments and settings of the device.of Developer options allowable Set value Once the menu is activated.
  2. Pair your Bluetooth headset and connect it to your Android smartphone.
  3. inside Developer options under Set value, Scroll down to Bluetooth audio codec then click
  4. In addition to the default SBC options, select a codec. If your headset supports the codec, it will use the selected option and improve the sound quality.
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In India, which are the cheapest Bluetooth headsets on a budget? We discuss this on the weekly technical podcast Orbital, you can subscribe via Apple Podcast or RSS, download the episode or just click the play button below.