High-resolution Bluetooth audio codecs LDAC and LHDC are audio technologies designed to make your headphones sound more heavenly. The technology is available in some of the best headphones such as Sony’s WF-1000XM5s. We will discuss in great details about LDAC and LHDC further.
About High-Resolution Bluetooth Audio Codecs LDAC and LHDC
The acronym LDAC stands for something, but nobody can figure out what. Many think Lossless Digital Audio Codec is the most likely explanation, but it’s unclear whether Sony has confirmed or denied this. It could be Let’s Dance to Our Favorite Swedish Hits or Large Dogs Are Cool. What really matters is that LDAC was developed by Sony as a new way to deliver high-resolution audio streaming over Bluetooth connections, and it’s one of only two features certified as Hi-Res Audio by the Japan Audio Society. The other is LHDC.
As one might expect from a standard developed by Sony, LDAC can be found in Sony’s high-end smartphones and portable audio players. It can also be found in Sony home entertainment and headphones. Many other companies support LDAC devices too, but if you want LDAC on an iPhone, you’re out of luck! Apple currently does not support LLDC, and it’s unlikely to anytime soon.
What’s an LHDC?
Low Latency High Definition Audio Coggle, or LHDC as it’s also known, was created by a company called Savitech in an attempt to provide a better alternative to LDAC and aptX-HD. You can find this audio codec in some Android apps such as Huawei Mate 10.
What is a Codec?
Codec is a mixture of the words “encoder” and “decoder,” and it’s used to describe a technology that compresses file sizes while preserving most, or in some cases all, of the originals’ quality.
We’ve been using codecs for years because we always want to transmit more data than our existing technology permits. In the case of LDAC and LHDC, because we found it difficult to transmit high-quality audio from Bluetooth devices.
Normal Bluetooth connections have been around for a long time, and they transfer data at about 300 kilobits per second. That’s a lot of data to go through, but it’s not all the data (or all the data Bluetooth is capable of shifting).
A high-quality sound recording is 1,411 kilobits per second. If you’re streaming at 300kbps, then clearly you’re not getting to enjoy the rich detail of a high-quality sound recording.
Today, even CD-quality audio is considered ancient. The latest industry standard is high-res audio with higher sampling rates and bit rates. Sure enough, your Bluetooth speakers can’t handle that!What are LDAC and LHDC?
Who says that bigger files equal better quality? LDAC and LHDC are designed to deliver higher audio quality with smaller file sizes. That way, you can stream your favorite music without worrying about using up all of your data for the plan you have. Sony’s LDAC codec is capable of taking a CD-quality recording from 1,411 kilobits per second all the way down to 990 kilobits per second without losing any important audio detail. That means LDAC can deliver CD quality or better using only Bluetooth 4 or later, which has data rates as fast as 1,024 kilobits per second.
Firstly, both your phone and headphones need to have a version of Bluetooth that can support LDAC. If the iPhone supports LDAC but the headphones you’re using don’t, then it won’t work. However, if the headphones you’re using do support LDAC but your iPhone doesn’t, then it will work for both!
That really depends on what you want to listen to and how you’ll be listening to it. If you just want something to fill the background noise at home, then a basic soundbar will do. However, if you’re looking for an immersive audio experience that brings every detail of the music alive (especially if you’re listening to something like Super Audio CD or Tidal Hi-Fi), then yes, it’s worth the extra investment.
Unless you’re using Spotify on a public transit system where there is a lot of background noise, it really doesn’t matter if you’re playing Spotify in LDAC or LHDC. Streaming at higher quality audio is useless when there is too much background noise.
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