wireless noise cancelling earbuds

If anyone knows a bit about audio, they'll definitely wireless noise cancelling earbuds know that bluetooth headphones don't sound as good as wired headphones. Some people will blame the sound quality problem on the transmission speed of Bluetooth, and also think that the upgrade of the Bluetooth standard must be related to the improvement of sound quality. But is this really the case? What are the reasons for limiting the audio quality of a Bluetooth audio device?

Lossy Compression in Bluetooth Transmission

The root cause of the poor sound quality of a Bluetooth audio device is simply that the audio signal is compressed using lossy encoding during transmission. However, in order to achieve greater compression ratios and smaller data volumes, lossy encoding discards some of the original information in the audio signal. However, the compressed information is insufficient, resulting in distortion during decompression and recovery.

Lossy Chinese audio distortion is a thing

I think a lot of people know that over-compressed images can produce noticeable noise or color blocking, both of which are artifacts of compromised compression. The same applies to lossy compression of audio, which also introduces distortion when restoring, but not very intuitively. Many people will find it difficult to tell the difference between damaged music and lossless music, so it is perfectly normal to do so even if they do not experience a loss of sound quality from the Bluetooth transmission.

The sound quality is actually improving

Although the amount of data in Bluetooth audio transmission is limited by the protocol, it is possible to improve the audio quality by improving the compression quality of the transfer encoding, but the now very popular APTX encoding is achieved in this way. That is to say, at the same bit rate, it can bring better compression, so it can still improve the sound quality even if it is limited by the protocol. aptX improves sound quality, but not lossless. There is still a gap between sound quality and lossless audio.

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