Bluetooth A2DP Audio Codecs

Codec stands for encode/decode. Because raw audio data is too large to transmit and stream in real-time, audio must be compressed (encoded) using a codec before it's streamed over Bluetooth A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). Once the encoded audio is recevied by the output device, it is decoded before it can be played. Each source and output device supports its own combination of codecs and generally the highest performing common codec between the source and output device will be used.

Codecs can vary in sound quality, processing power, and latency, so they're an important consideration when choosing a set of bluetooth audio devices. Below are a list of commonly used codecs for Bluetooth A2DP streaming audio.

Select a codec for more details and to find compatible devices and accessories
Name Max Bitrate Bit Depth Max Frequency Introduced # of devices supported # of accessories supported
aptX LL 352 kbps 16 bit 44.1 kHz 2016 0 1
aptX HD 576 kbps 24 bit 48.0 kHz 2016 165 13
LDAC 990 kbps 24 bit 96.0 kHz 2015 159 5
AAC 264 kbps 16 bit 44.1 kHz 2015 201 30
UHQ - 32 bit 384.0 kHz 2015 2 2
aptX 352 kbps 16 bit 48.0 kHz 2009 477 25
SBC 320 kbps 16 bit 48.0 kHz 2003 5565 53