Wireless headphones: using a lossless source pointless? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-05-2019, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Wireless headphones: using a lossless source pointless?

It’s my understanding that Bluetooth does not support transmitting audio in a lossless format. The protocol has several “native” audio codecs, but also can support “pass through” for lossy formats such as MP3 and AAC if the destination device has its own decoding hardware.

I have my CD collection stored in ALAC (Apple lossless) format. I currently have iTunes transcode the music to “iTunes+” (256k VBR AAC) when syncing to my phone. I then listen using Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones, which, I believe, natively support AAC.

I am considering instead syncing the music in ALAC format for the highest quality. However, if the audio is being transcoded to AAC via Bluetooth anyway, would this be a waste of my efforts? Do the headphones receive lossy AAC regardless of the source?
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-05-2019, 10:41 PM
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It depends. Bluetooth a2dp profile supports SBC codec as the compatible option which is a terrible codec for the bitrate it consumes. However with compatible devices, other codecs can be used, including many lossless ones like aptX, LDAC, PCM and others. You can also use higher quality lossy codecs like mp3 and AAC.

As for what you use, AAC is good enough. It is beats, after all. There are plenty of other wireless options that are lossless so if you are planning on using those,having high quality audio wouldn't be a waste. But if you're using just those headphones, then there's no need and enjoy more space for music.
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