Sometimes innovation isn’t as simple as removing a 3.5mm headphone jack from a phone. In fact, if you want to see what real innovation in audio looks like, take a gander at Sony’s collaboration with Google to bring its LDAC codec to Android O devices.
The collaboration is part of Google’s partner program that sees several big hardware companies teaming up to help reduce bugs and radically boost Android O’s feature set. The biggest of these contributors, according to Google, has been Sony.
The Japanese hardware manufacturer submitted 35 new features for approval, however the most prominent of them is the inclusion of LDAC, a codec that improves audio quality over Bluetooth. It’s the same technology Sony introduced back at CES 2015 when it became obsessed with the term Hi-Res Audio and has since built into several of audio devices, including the new Walkmans and the fantastic-sounding MDR-1000X noise-cancelling headphones.
The LDAC codec allows phones to push three times the amount of data over the same Bluetooth connection that other devices can. This allows bitrates of up to 990kbps, and in turn vastly improves the audio quality on your favorite wireless pair of headphones.
LDAC for the masses
Now, in order to hear this difference you’re still going to need a pair of headphones that also use LDAC … which at this point is limited to, you guessed it, a handful of Sony headphones and Bluetooth speakers.
The idea here is that if there are dozens of phones that can now use the LDAC codec, maybe more headphone companies will want to license the codec from Sony to create better-sounding pairs of cans – a win-win situation in Sony’s case.
What it means for you, however, is better-sounding music with – and now without – using the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Via The Verge