When it comes to getting the best audio quality out of your phone, it depends on several factors. Three of the most important include quality of the source material, audio processor in your phone, and the headphones or speaker you use. However, when Bluetooth is used another important factor is introduced, and that’s the wireless audio codec.

There are several wireless audio codes to choose from, with some of the most popular being AAC, SBC, LDAC, aptX, and aptX HD. With the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, Google added support for all of these, and more. In other words, it meant that regardless of which codec is used, it comes down to which one your headphones or speaker supports.

Most headphones support more than one codec with AAC and aptX being the two most popular. For those who may be wondering at this point, aptX HD and LDAC are generally considered two of the highest quality wireless audio codecs.

By default, your phone should choose the highest quality codec your headphones or speaker supports. However, there is a way to view which codec is in use, and even a way to change it manually. Keep reading to find out how.

1. Connect your Bluetooth headphones to your phone.
2. Swipe down the notification shade.
3. Long press on the Bluetooth quick tile.
4. Click on the settings cog next to your Bluetooth headphones.
5. Tap the item at the top of the list, mine shown below is “HD audio: LDAC” but yours will depend on the device you have connected.
6. Choose which codec you’d like to use and press OK.

In my example, I used the 1More Dual Driver ANC Pro Headphones. You’ll see that by default it uses the LDAC codec, which is one of the highest quality wireless audio codecs available.

You may be wondering, why would you want to change the codec? Good question, there are two very important reasons. The first being that LDAC uses much more battery power;  by switching to another codec you can extend the battery life. From time to time it may happen that battery life is more important to you than audio quality.

The second reason would be that other lower bit rate codecs can offer a more stable Bluetooth connection, allowing you to experiences fewer drop outs at greater distances.

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