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Android 10 devices are going to sound better with LHDC™

Savitech is bringing its LHDC and LHDC LL codecs to every Android 10 device

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

Savitech has collaborated with Google to bring its LHDC codec to Android 10 devices as part of Google’s partner program, which sees a significant boost to Android 10’s feature set, particularly in the area of high-resolution audio.

Low latency and High-Definition audio Codec

Since Apple decided to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack, many Android smartphone manufacturers have jumped onto the bandwagon with the latest being Samsung to remove the jack from their latest Galaxy Note 10 series.

Catalysed by the disappearing headphone jack,  Bluetooth is one of the two areas of innovations that have evolved significantly to fill the audio’s interfacing needs. Shortly after the first jack-less iPhone release, the iPhone 7 in September 2016, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group officially adopted Bluetooth 5.0 in December 2016; compared to 4.2, Bluetooth 5.0 is two times faster than four times more range and eight times more capacity. LHDC™ stands for Low Latency High-Definition Audio Codec; it allows more than 3 times the data transmitted and seeks to provide the most realistic and high definition of wireless audio and is one of the two codecs as an audio codec for the “Hi-Res Audio Wireless” certification by Japan Audio Society (JAS).

Android Oreo (8.0) supports AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC; Android 10 adds AAC_LATM (LC, HE V1, and V2), aptX Adaptive, CELT, LHDC, and LHDC LL, bringing support for most of the Bluetooth Codecs to the masses.

Android 10 - High-Resolution Audio

Android 10 also includes the following improvements for high-resolution audio:

  • Float: WAV, FLAC codecs, and extractors are updated to support float (24+ bits of lossless precision). Downmix and Virtualizer effects are updated to float. Updated precision is allowed by MediaPlayer (NuPlayer).
  • High-frequency: WAV, FLAC codecs, and extractors are updated to support 192 kHz. The default Android supplied effects are tested for 192 kHz support at standard frequencies. The standard frequencies permitted are 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, and 192 kHz.
  • Multichannel: Default Android playback effects are tested for multichannel support to eight channels.
  • Timing: Timing information is included throughout the audio framework.
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4 COMMENTS

  1. My phone is Galaxy Note 10+ with latest Android 10 update, but i can’t find LHDC codec under setting menu: Developer Option – Bluetooth Codec.
    Why?

    • Dear Luzan, thank you for your question. While the LHDC is included in the system, it will have to be implemented by the respective smartphone manufacturer in order for it to be selectable on the phone. I will suggest that you send a feedback to Samsung, asking support for LHDC to be added.

      Hope the above answers your queries.

  2. A very interesting article, but I’m confused. My Xiaomi Mi10T Pro supports a variety of codecs, including AAC and LHDC, as do my Xiaomi TWS earphones. Logically, enabling LHDC between the two should therefore provide the best sound quality. But if Apple Music and Spotify don’t stream using the codec, is there no benefit? How important is it to set the phone to the same codec as the music provider? Setting AAC for Apple Music and disabling it for Spotify will be a pain.

    • Hi Arthur, I think you are mixed up between AAC as an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression and as a Bluetooth codec. As an audio coding standard, AAC is a file format for audio files. The use of AAC as a storage container for your audio data is not tied in with your choice of Bluetooth codec. Similar to MP3, AAC is lossy. However, AAC generally provides better audio quality at the same bitrate as MP3 or comparable quality at lower bitrates.

      The use of the AAC Bluetooth codec ensures that if you have your audio file encoded in AAC, it won’t need to be compressed when sending the audio from your device via wireless to your TWS, do note that the AAC audio format supports audio quality up to 24-bit 96kHz, but in the Bluetooth space we are limited slightly below CD quality at best; also AAC is the only Bluetooth codec that makes uses of psychoacoustic modelling to transmit data, so it’s a very processing-heavy codec compared to other codecs which will be limited if you are using a smartphone with limited processing power.

      On the device level, if you were to select LHDC, the device will acknowledge and communicate with your Xiaomi TWS earphones via the LHDC codec; a codec essentially is a compression algorithm that facilitates the data transmission via the medium, which in this case is Bluetooth. I hope the above helps you with the understanding.

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