APT-X. HQ Audio over Bluetooth Now on Ultrabooks

Posted on 28 November 2013 by

This is going to be music to some peoples ears because APT-X is now supported on Ultrabooks and notebooks with some Intel Centrino Bluetooth stacks. I heard the news in September but it’s only now I’m able to confirm it.

apt-xnotification

That message just popped up on the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus I’m testing as I paired some Sennheiser PX210 Bluetooth headphones.

For those that are interested, APT-X is a protocol that carries audio over Bluetooth in better quality than the A2DP protocol that you usually get with the BT Stereo Headphone profile. The difference is easily noticeable because A2DP is actually quite poor. I’m enjoying Google Play, wirelessly, right now. I might look out for an APT-X reciever for my HiFi now too. For more info, see this CSR APT-X info page.

The big question of course is “Does my Ultrabook or notebook support APT-X?” It’s the question that gets asked all the time where APT-X is concerned. More marketing and branding is needed here.

For reference, the ATIV Book 9 Plus has an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 7260 module which includes an Intel BT4.0 + H.S adapter with the following driver.

Date: 01/08/2013

Version: 3.1.1307.364. [The latest Centrino PROSet/Wireless Bluetooth Software for Windows 8 today is 3.1.1309]

I don’t think the hardware version is that important as APT-X a software-stack feature but I could be wrong there. I’ve put a call in to CSR to see if I can get more info. Most Ultrabooks have Centrino WiFi and Bluetooth now because of the WiDi requirement (some, with Connected Standby, may have Broadcom chips as they’ve licensed WiDi technology) so there’s a chance that nearly all new Utrabooks will work.

This is the notification you’ll get when an APT-X device connects to your APT-X enabled Ultrabook or laptop. Good luck!

 

apt-x

 

P.S. I can thoroughly recommend the Sennheiser PX210’s for sound quality.

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  • Name

    How does aptX work? You talk about the HS part of Bluetooth 3.0/4.0 and WiDi. Does the increased audio quality mostly come from the use of the HS feature of Bluetooth which enables higher bitrate audio to be streamed?

    Also, I guess I need to be on the lookout for Bluetooth audio equipment that supports this. I’ve been in the market for very small Bluetooth stereo in-ear earbuds but the ones I’ve seen so far have too short battery life and/or don’t use micro-USB for charging.

    • Think of apt-x as the audio compression algorithm in an AVI file. It’s simply a better algorithm in this case. A2DP is the alternative, and it’s not as good in terms of audio quality. HS contributes nothing in this case and WiDi is not related to it (but having WiDi means you’re likely to have an Intel Centrino Wireless/BT card.)
      Hope that helps!

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  • Robert

    just this week I was looking at some bluetooth speakers and ipod dockingstations which I find intruiging who may be able to outperform my bose soundlink2 speaker in connection with my 2012 samsung series 9 ivy bridge .. the bose works and sounds lovely but the loewe 2go for example might be even better and comes wih apt-x (and nfc) question being does my samsung have apt-x looking at my drivers it seems it does! can anyone confirm this?
    I also found a nice list of many if not all speakers which offer apt-x

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