Always follow your ears

Leon74

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2024
66
33
70
Visit site
In another thread I talked about (bluetooth) LDAC and how good it sounded...

...well, today I compared it to bluetooth AAC and the latter sounded MUCH better than LDAC.

Seems I relied on numbers too much (the LDAC sends at 990 kbps while AAC reaches 320 at most).
Lesson learned: Always compare and never trust the theory (in theory LDAC should be better and you can find this on HiFi sites all over the internet).

Both my husband and I did the comparison, with a Denon Ceol N12 as well as with a Luxman amp. The Denon was connected optically to an Auris BluMe Pro, the Luxman was connected the analogue way. The phone used was a Samsung A32.

My husband is a musician by profession, so his ears are trained.
Even I - with untrained ears - could hear the remarkable difference between the two codecs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Integralista

Stuart83

Well-known member
Jul 22, 2023
355
290
770
Visit site
As said via another thread the output of ldac is theoretical.
A phone's settings does not mean that is what you are recieving or is what's being broadcast for that matter.
You can be receiving way lower than the codec/format can handle depending on your source and set-up.

The Ifizen and other software tells you what is being broadcast both format and quality which varies all the time in accordance with the file that's being played.

One of the reasons I choose to go with the Ifizen for Bluetooth.

Your phone's settings have to be optimised etc to send the full ldac rate but even then the source has to be in its accordance with the transmission rate.
Otherwise your just using ldac as a format to carry whatever bandwidth you are transmitting and recieving.

It sounds like your using a superior format to send low amounts of data with.

Ldac caps out way higher than AAC and it's a night and day difference but only if bandwidth of ldac is achieved.

In answer to your question from the original thread as I've commented here to maybe help you with both posts, The ifizen receives all formats.
Im with the majority and find LDAC the best Bluetooth format there is imo 😊

Going from a low bitrate to a higher one usually always makes a big difference in quality irrespective of how it's done.

It's a "general rule of thumb" that the more data read the better the quality as with MP3 to CD to utilising the higher bitrate LDAC has to AAC.

As within your replies on your aforementioned thread "ldac dull sound "
There are some quick steps to check.
(I'm in a rush this morning so can't go through the entire thread so forgive me if you already have)

•Open your phone's developer options your phone or device that's hosting your music platform.
(Assuming it's a phone Google how to unlock development options on your model phone, it's quick and easy)

Reset the LDAC codec playback quality FROM the default "best effort" to "optimised for audio quality"

You may as well check the Bluetooth settings whilst your there and set the "steaming to 32 bit" and sample "rate to 96khz" and make sure your phone is sending LDAC natively and not just an in-app conversation.
I'm presuming it's not but it's always worth a check within the settings.

•Check the source music is a high enough bitrate to utilise the higher bitrate LDAC provides in the first place.

A lot of people assume that if a track in Spotify says it's HD in its title it's what they are getting yet Spotify do not support such a service.
Especially with the free version capped within an AAC format at 128kbs and the premium version still not enough to utilise LDAC at only 320kbs.

It doesn't matter "what format" is used to carry the data it will still be the same as the source.

The capabilities of LDAC are far superior but it has to be utilised first by supplying the format with a higher bitrate to begin with.

If a low bitrate is sent using AAC for example then sent again within the LDAC codec the music remains the same only the format that carries the data has changed.

It can be very confusing, I thought one just ticked the box to LDAC and everything would be enhanced automatically but it's not the case.

That would be to simple 😡

I hope this helps
 

Attachments

  • 1000005610.png
    1000005610.png
    253.8 KB · Views: 1
  • 1000005609.png
    1000005609.png
    226.4 KB · Views: 1
Last edited:

Leon74

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2024
66
33
70
Visit site
As said via another thread the output of ldac is theoretical.
A phone's settings does not mean that is what you are recieving or is what's being broadcast for that matter.
You can be receiving way lower than the codec/format can handle depending on your source and set-up.

The Ifizen and other software tells you what is being broadcast both format and quality which varies all the time in accordance with the file that's being played.

One of the reasons I choose to go with the Ifizen for Bluetooth.

Your phone's settings have to be optimised etc to send the full ldac rate but even then the source has to be in its accordance with the transmission rate.
Otherwise your just using ldac as a format to carry whatever bandwidth you are transmitting and recieving.

It sounds like your using a superior format to send low amounts of data with.

Ldac caps out way higher than AAC and it's a night and day difference but only if bandwidth of ldac is achieved.

In answer to your question from the original thread as I've commented here to maybe help you with both posts, The ifizen receives all formats.
Im with the majority and find LDAC the best Bluetooth format there is imo 😊

Going from a low bitrate to a higher one usually always makes a big difference in quality irrespective of how it's done.

It's a "general rule of thumb" that the more data read the better the quality as with MP3 to CD to utilising the higher bitrate LDAC has to AAC.

As within your replies on your aforementioned thread "ldac dull sound "
There are some quick steps to check.
(I'm in a rush this morning so can't go through the entire thread so forgive me if you already have)

•Open your phone's developer options your phone or device that's hosting your music platform.
(Assuming it's a phone Google how to unlock development options on your model phone, it's quick and easy)

Reset the LDAC codec playback quality FROM the default "best effort" to "optimised for audio quality"

You may as well check the Bluetooth settings whilst your there and set the "steaming to 32 bit" and sample "rate to 96khz" and make sure your phone is sending LDAC natively and not just an in-app conversation.
I'm presuming it's not but it's always worth a check within the settings.

•Check the source music is a high enough bitrate to utilise the higher bitrate LDAC provides in the first place.

A lot of people assume that if a track in Spotify says it's HD in its title it's what they are getting yet Spotify do not support such a service.
Especially with the free version capped within an AAC format at 128kbs and the premium version still not enough to utilise LDAC at only 320kbs.

It doesn't matter "what format" is used to carry the data it will still be the same as the source.

The capabilities of LDAC are far superior but it has to be utilised first by supplying the format with a higher bitrate to begin with.

If a low bitrate is sent using AAC for example then sent again within the LDAC codec the music remains the same only the format that carries the data has changed.

It can be very confusing, I thought one just ticked the box to LDAC and everything would be enhanced automatically but it's not the case.

That would be to simple 😡

I hope this helps

Hi Stuart,

First of all, thank you VERY much for your kind help and the explanations.

Unfortunately I was already well aware of all this and knew one cannot simply tick a box and then suppose it will work, but though I took care of all the things you spoke of, in my situation LDAC 990 kbps sounds definitely worse than AAC.
I have Deezer and most of their songs are FLAC, 44.1 khz, 16 bit. When I play them with the AAC codec, the sound is near CD quality, which is not impossible if the bitrate is 320 (though I have no way to check it but my ears tell me enough).
It is somehow unsatisfactory that my phone and receiver have LDAC capabilities and that I made all the settings, and yet the LDAC - for me - does not live up to its claims.

Luckily the receiver also has the AAC codec which is enough for me with near CD quality. I wonder why then LDAC can make such a difference for you. What AAC bitrate did you compare LDAC to? I can imagine that if it works, LDAC could give a slightly better sound than what I am getting from AAC now but I wouldn't expect a huge difference. I also tried aptX HD: its sound quality was slightly less than AAC.
 
Last edited:

Stuart83

Well-known member
Jul 22, 2023
355
290
770
Visit site
Hi Stuart,

First of all, thank you VERY much for your kind help and the explanations.

Unfortunately I was already well aware of all this and knew one cannot simply tick a box and then suppose it will work, but though I took care of all the things you spoke of, in my situation LDAC 990 kbps sounds definitely worse than AAC.
I have Deezer and most of their songs are FLAC, 44.1 khz, 16 bit. When I play them with the AAC codec, the sound is near CD quality, which is not impossible if the bitrate is 320 (though I have no way to check it but my ears tell me enough).
It is somehow unsatisfactory that my phone and receiver have LDAC capabilities and that I made all the settings, and yet the LDAC - for me - does not live up to its claims.

Luckily the receiver also has the AAC codec which is enough for me with near CD quality. I wonder why then LDAC can make such a difference for you. What AAC bitrate did you compare LDAC to? I can imagine that if it works, LDAC could give a slightly better sound than what I am getting from AAC now but I wouldn't expect a huge difference. I also tried aptX HD: its sound quality was slightly less than AAC.
I use LDAC as my main format as it can make use of higher bitrates sent within the "tidal" steaming platform etc etc.

In answer to your question, I used to use Spotify with AAC and it tops it out with 320kbps encoded in 16bit at 44,100 kHz.

"Not to cover old ground" but once I heard the higher quality jump with the higher bitrate of LDAC I never bother with the AAC because of it's limitations.
AAC as a format negates the possibility of utilising the higher quality music that certain platforms etc provide.

I assure you the difference is immediately apparent when switching from one to the other "if" using the higher bitrate LDAC provides.

The difference in quality was that noticeable I've never used AAC again unless on Spotify premium and that's only because the Ifizen switches over automatically and I hear the difference everytime.

There is software available to monitor what your actually getting to ensure your not getting a low bitrate using a superior format.

That would explain why your not hearing the difference that most people do.

As said using the likes of Spotify wouldn't be able to utilise LDAC, having it set as the format doesn't mean whatever your streaming is a higher bitrate only that it's being sent within LDAC.






Try to think of LDAC as AAC with a much bigger bandwidth etc.
It only gives out what is put in regardless of settings 🙂
 
Last edited:

Vincent Kars

Well-known member
AAC uses the psycho-acoustic model (yes, it is the heir of MP3). LDAC is most of all a SBC (Sideband Codec). One might argue that AAC is simply more clever than LDAC. Does this compensate for 256 kbs (common AAC) versus 900 (LDAC)?
LDAC does 24/96. If you play 16/44.1 it reserves a hell of a lot of bandwidth for information that is not there.
However, LDAC is source aware. If the app calling LDAC tells it the source is 16/44.1, it will use its full bandwidth to compress this source.
If the app doesn't, maybe this explains the dull sound.
 

TRENDING THREADS