Help me with Bluetooth

I’ve been using primarily Apple products when it comes to a source for Bluetooth transmitting of audio. Because Apple uses the AAC codec, I’ve tried to stick to AirPlay streaming whenever possible as the sound quality is simply better than Bluetooth.

But there are times when Bluetooth is just more convenient to use - especially if you do not have access to WiFi. Which led me to looking into how I might be able to take advantage of the better Bluetooth codecs for audio, such as AptX HD or LDAC.

I use the latest generation iPod Touch and FiiO Q5S as a dedicated “stack” for headphone/IEM listening. The Q5S has a nice variety of Bluetooth codec compatibility options for receiving audio, but it does not have two-way Bluetooth ability to transmit a signal out to say some Bluetooth speakers. I of course could transmit directly from the iPod but then would be stuck with either AAC or SBC if my Bluetooth receiver doesn’t support the AAC codec.

So I came across a cheap Monoprice Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver that uses Bluetooth 5.0 and supports AptX and AptX HD. I decided to pick one up and see if it would transmit from the output of the Q5S to my Bluetooth speakers. It does and it sounds good.

Which leads me to some questions…

Does sending a digital signal from the iPod into the Q5S (avoiding the iPod’s DAC) truly give me a better source to then send via AptX HD to speakers that also support AptX HD?

Should I just focus on AAC supported speakers and headphones if I’m going to use my iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as my Bluetooth source?

Aside from entering the world of Android, how could I send and receive Bluetooth using AptX HD or LDAC for the best Bluetooth sound quality?

Should be better, when using Aptx HD if speakers support it.

As for Android.
It kinda is just a OS so the BT chip, tell’s what it supports on the actual device that is being used.
Both devices need to support the best format to use it.
If not, they will negotiate the next “best” supported format.

If I may reinterpret this as a general BT codecs topic :stuck_out_tongue: , here’s a curveball I didn’t notice when it came out: Audio quality of SBC XQ Bluetooth audio codec - Articles - SoundExpert


  • The SBC spec allows for way higher bitrates and sound quality than we’re used to seeing in mobile transmitter devices
  • Once “unlocked” to work at 400-500+ kbps, SBC becomes comparable to aptX HD in human-audible sound quality
  • Existing receivers/headphones already support such high bitrates, all we need to change is the software (OS) on our transmitter devices (links to existing patches in the article), and everyone could enjoy aptX-level quality without owning aptX-supporting devices.