Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
published under license Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)copy! share!
posted in category Technology & Dystopia / Audio
posted at 31. Aug '18

Die, aptX, die

Apt, aptX and recently announced aptX Adaptive (https://www.gsmarena.com/qualcomm_aptx_adaptive_official_announcement-news-33040.php) are protocols used to transfer high quality audio via Bluetooth to wireless headphones.

Sounds like a dream world, right?

The reality is far more grim. All my smartphones so far used Snapdragon. In Desire there was naturally no aptX. But in Motorola Z2 Play there is aptX (https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_moto_z2_play-8674.php).

Does my Bang & Olufsen headphones support aptX? Noooooo. As a buyer I don’t care about “competitive edge” allegedly coming from proprietary stuff. This functionality is so basic, there is no point to fragment the market.

So because apt* procotols are proprietary, my headphones would need to use Qualcomm chipsets (most likely). Which sucks. I imagine not many headphone manufacturers want to use or be locked-in to Qualcomm and its chips like https://www.qualcomm.com/products/csr8645.

It seems a free standard could be LDAC of Sony (Sony? Really? Really? I’m not complaining). In Android. From version 8.0. What about Linux, BSDs, Windows and yeah, Apple?

Major chipset manufacturers for smartphones are in 2018:

  • Qualcomm (Snapdragon)
  • HiSilicon (owned by Huawei, Kirin)
  • MediaTek (MT and Helio)
  • Samsung (Exynos)
  • and Apple of couse (Ax, used in their phones)
  • Spreadtrum (lowend phones, mostly in China, developing world)

Bluetooth+WiFi chips are part of the SoC. And Qualcomm doesn’t give a shit - Qualcomm fined $774 million for abusing monopoly on smartphone modems in Taiwan, E.U. Fines Qualcomm $1.2 Billion Over Apple Deal, Korean court upholds $912M Qualcomm fine as tech rivals continue to make antitrust claims, Qualcomm licensing blocked Samsung from selling Exynos chips.

You get the drift. With this behavior I don’t expect any free standard for all or any reasonable licensing to third parties.

I just want some technological comfort and not constantly feel like in a warzone.

Therefore die, apt*, die.

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