Apt-x looks interesting. Any SQ and compatibility experience? Specs?

AlmaataKZ

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This new codec Apt-x looks very interesting. It looks like it enables lossless wireless transmission of audio. You can for example stream directly from ipod touch (+ sennheiser or creative dongle) to ChordetteGem (apt-x if it has the latest firmware) or to qed receiver/dac. you can stream from a notebook via a usb dongle to teh same. I also see some recent wireless headphones are adopting apt-x.

Are we finally getting high-quality wireless audio?

Apart from the recent WHF test of wireless headphones and the updated Gem I have not heard anyhting elswhere about sound quality but WHF reports are good. What is the compatibility with sources? Is it plug and play with everything - ipods all generations, ipad, macs, windows etc?

What is the max resolution it can carry? 16/44 seems OK. Can it carry 24/44, 24/96?

Edit. Wikipedia says Apt-x Lossless does 24/96. But it is not clear what Apt-x is implemented on the creative and sennheiser dongles.

I also understand the dongles take analog sound and encode it using Apt-x, right?, rather than taking and reencoding digital signal?.

Anybody at WHF has more info?
 

shooter

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I tried a Chord Gem when i wanted to get music from the PC to the amp for some lazy listening and found it to be very sibilant basically unless it hardwired it was awful it ended up going back and i replaced it with with a Apple airport express which for what it does and the cost of it its pretty good, still a bit muddy though.

Unless i had a duffer i'd say Apt-X isn't high-quality wireless audio, its pants.
 

AlmaataKZ

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Andy Clough:More info on the apt-x website.

Yes, thanks! There is a bit of info on spect of various apt-x variants. But nowhere (on manufacturers sites) there is info on what variant of apt-x is implemented in which device...
 

AlmaataKZ

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shooter96, the original gem does not have apt-x but can be updated (it's a software thing apparently). Chord can do it for abt 20 pounds, you will have to send it in. Apt-x is supposed to be (much?) better.

If you buy the gem now it should already include apt-x, although there is no model number or info in the documentation about that as I understand. The price i think is the same, too.
 

shooter

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I bought the Gem november time last year and did find out some Apt-X info here http://www.aptx.com/News/CHORD-selects-apt-X-codec-for-Hi-Fi-wireless-audio.aspx regarding the codec. I presumed the model i had was the updated version as the Apt-X info was written before i purchased it.
I never contacted Chord because of the dates, maybe i should of.
 

AlmaataKZ

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I got mine in Dec 09 and Chord said it most likely does not have apt-x when I spoke to them a couple of weeks ago.
 
AlmaataKZ:

shooter96, the original gem does not have apt-x but can be updated (it's a software thing apparently). Chord can do it for abt 20 pounds, you will have to send it in. Apt-x is supposed to be (much?) better.

If you buy the gem now it should already include apt-x, although there is no model number or info in the documentation about that as I understand. The price i think is the same, too.

Hi AlmaataKZ

All of the Chordette Gem's which i have had come in the store recently are aptX compliant. These can be identified with an aptX sticker underneath the Gem. The same is also true for other Chord Electronics products such as the QBD76.

Btw, aptX Gem's now retail at £419 and all products featuring this technology sound sublime.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Hi AlmaataKZ, I work for APTX (the company behind the apt-X codec). The codec used for Bluetooth is a variant of Enhanced apt-X which is being heavily used by radio braodcasters. Broadcasters like the codec for it's acoustic integrity and low latency. It's sampled at 44.1kHz and has a word depth of 16 bit. Bluetooth apt-X is based on ADPCM principles. The apt-X Lossless codec is just not quite bit efficient to fit into the Bluetooth stream but fits Enhanced quite nicely. If you want more info, I would be delighted to continue through email or have a phone call.

Just a note, although the Chord maybe loaded with apt-X you will also need a dongle to encode. (If you don't then it will default to SBC) This dongle can either be a USB or iPhone connector. We are working on getting apt-X streaming natively from source devices.

Hi Shooter, I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. If you have the appetite, I would be happy to send you a dongle and another Chord device should you wish to re-do your tests. Also, was there a particular audio piece that you noticed the sibilance? Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this as this is not a compliant I've come across before...
 

Andrew Everard

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Clintaptx

As you work for the company in question, please identify yourself as such in your signature, as required by House Rules.
 

AlmaataKZ

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Thanks, Clintaptx, useful info - it is not easy to get it elswhere!
Sure, I realise an apt-x dongle is needed.
It woudl be fantastic if devices like laptops and ipods coudl do apt-x out of hte box, without dongles.
Could you confirm if apt-x actually does A/D conversion on the sending side and then back on the receiving side (rather than re-encodes/compresses a digital input), or can it do both?
Is enhanced apt-x completely lossless?

Alternatively, how can I contact you?
 

shooter

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Clintaptx:
Hi Shooter, I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. If you have the appetite, I would be happy to send you a dongle and another Chord device should you wish to re-do your tests. Also, was there a particular audio piece that you noticed the sibilance? Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this as this is not a compliant I've come across before...

Hello again Clint!

I had a reply from you before but not here when i had the problems, you posted this.

As rightly pointed out, if there is a problem with the Bluetooth audio quality, then it maybe related to the source devise or the receiver. However, there is another possibility i.e. the audio codec used on the link. In this case, the problem is probably related to both the audio codec i.e. SBC and also the implementation on the Apple O/S. SBC as you maybe aware cuts of audio content above 16kHz (when fully optimised and implemented correctly). SBC's implementation and performance is dependent on bit rate. I believe (and I could be wrong) that the bit rate is around 200bBit/s on this O/S. For SBC to even perform vaguely to a reasonable audio quality then the bit rate should be around 350kBit/s. So by using a poorly implemented version of a limited audio codec, then there is little hope of enjoying a fulfiling listening experience. You may wish to google apt-X + A2DP for an alternative...

I always thought it was an Apt-x problem but i'm not sure that it is now as the Gem i had preceded the Apt-x codec.

It must of been a bluetooth a2dp problem.

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I apologise for stating the obvious, but sometimes it iseasy to miss out on some vital information.

Any apt-X equipped Bluetooth Receiving device such as thosefrom Chord and QED (we call the QED product the "Puck" by the way, because itlooks like an ice hockey puck), It MUST be paired with an apt-X enabled sourcedevice, otherwise it will automatically revert to SBC (the standard BluetoothCodec). In other words you will not be able to benefit from the superior audio performance of apt-X.

Currently, there are no devices, which natively supportapt-X, but this is expected to change quite soon, with a number of well-knowncompanies looking to build-in apt-X support. In the mean time an adaptor (oftencalled a Dongle) is required. Sennheiser currently sell both a USB dongle andiPod dongle, which of course also work with their apt-X enabled Headphones

Why is this important?

Firstly, Bluetooth has had a long and very chequered historyin terms of audio quality, and rightly earned a reputation for being poor and unpredictable.In recent years, things have improved quite dramatically, but what apt-Xdelivers, is a known higher quality audio standard for Bluetooth.

Secondly, with devices like laptop's iPhones, iPod Touch'sand now iPad's (collectively "Smart Devices") delivering highly capable andflexible sources of music, both stored and on-line, Bluetooth is currently theONLY native method of wirelessly transmitting said content to some sort of receiverdevice. The shear scope and power of these Smart Devices expose the limitationsof proprietary wireless music systems, which are really quite basic bycomparison.

To conclude

Apt-X Bluetooth offers the best scope yet to wirelesslyextract stored or on-demand content from your Smart Device to a suitablereceiver connected to your Hi-Fi or A/V system

Bob Abraham

Founder QED & Systemline
 

AlmaataKZ

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Wow, QED and Apt-x reps replied! Isn't this great! Thank you.

I have a lot of respect for companies that can and do communicate openly.

We now need native apt-x support on the next ipad, ipod and iphone
and anything that plays music, really.
 

shooter

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qedbob:Firstly, Bluetooth has had a long and very chequered historyin terms of audio quality, and rightly earned a reputation for being poor and unpredictable.

I had high expectations with the Chord Gem being able to pick up the Bluetooth signal from the imac. First of the sound dropped out but this was soon resolved by moving the Gem nearer but the awful sibilance on vocals basically for me rendered it useless.
The Gem when hardwired was a great product and sounded very good. If it was going to be used this way i would be highly recommend it, but in the end i purchased a Airport Express which works well but the sound from it overall isn't a patch on the Gem.
Hopefully sometime soon the Apt-x bluetooth will work out well and deliver quality bluetooth audio.
 

AlmaataKZ

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indeed, chordette gem sounded amasing via USB. I still have to send mine to Chord to update the firmware to make it apt-x compatible. I plan to do so in near future. Hopefully, there will be more htan noticeable improvement.

incidentally, Shooter, did you have a go at sub tuning with test tracks (as per the other thread)?
 

shooter

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AlmaataKZ:
incidentally, Shooter, did you have a go at sub tuning with test tracks

As yet i haven't, but thank you for the link AlmaataKZ.

It is though still on my list of to-do's!
 
A

Anonymous

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Apt-x is indeed interesting, but it isn't the only game in town. Kleer is a 16-bit 44.1kHz genuine lossless wireless audio system. I *think* that the Bluetooth implementation of Apt-x is near-lossless, i.e. lossy.

Kleer-compatible earbuds and iPod transmitters are already on the market. More products are on the way. Competition is good for the market!
 
shooter69:qedbob:
Firstly, Bluetooth has had a long and very chequered historyin terms of audio quality, and rightly earned a reputation for being poor and unpredictable.

I had high expectations with the Chord Gem being able to pick up the Bluetooth signal from the imac. First of the sound dropped out but this was soon resolved by moving the Gem nearer but the awful sibilance on vocals basically for me rendered it useless.
The Gem when hardwired was a great product and sounded very good. If it was going to be used this way i would be highly recommend it, but in the end i purchased a Airport Express which works well but the sound from it overall isn't a patch on the Gem.
Hopefully sometime soon the Apt-x bluetooth will work out well and deliver quality bluetooth audio.

Hi shooter69

After i read your post yesterday i listened to Don't Look Back by Bliss on Spotify (128kbps) via bluetooth APTX through the Chord Electronics Chordette Gem and the QBD76 DAC. The sound quality through the Chordette Gem was very good and with the QBD76 DAC the performance was simply excellent. I did not have any loss of signal and nor did i detect any unpleasant sibilance through the Chordette Gem or QBD76 DAC.

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft
 

shooter

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May 4, 2008
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MUSICRAFT:shooter69:qedbob:
Firstly, Bluetooth has had a long and very chequered historyin terms of audio quality, and rightly earned a reputation for being poor and unpredictable.

I had high expectations with the Chord Gem being able to pick up the Bluetooth signal from the imac. First of the sound dropped out but this was soon resolved by moving the Gem nearer but the awful sibilance on vocals basically for me rendered it useless.
The Gem when hardwired was a great product and sounded very good. If it was going to be used this way i would be highly recommend it, but in the end i purchased a Airport Express which works well but the sound from it overall isn't a patch on the Gem.
Hopefully sometime soon the Apt-x bluetooth will work out well and deliver quality bluetooth audio.

Hi shooter69

After i read your post yesterday i listened to Don't Look Back by Bliss on Spotify (128kbps) via bluetooth APTX through the Chord Electronics Chordette Gem and the QBD76 DAC. The sound quality through the Chordette Gem was very good and with the QBD76 DAC the performance was simply excellent. I did not have any loss of signal and nor did i detect any unpleasant sibilance through the Chordette Gem or QBD76 DAC.

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft

Hello Rick,

May be i just had a 'duffer'. In the end it went back to whom i bought it from and never heard anything back so i'm not sure of the outcome in the end.

I may try another Gem at some point as the AE is a bit dull and see if i have a a better result.

Thanks for the post.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
do you have to send it away to get the firmware upgraded so it can play apt-x?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
After i read your post yesterday i listened to Don't Look Back by Bliss on Spotify (128kbps) via bluetooth APTX through the Chord Electronics Chordette Gem and the QBD76 DAC. The sound quality through the Chordette Gem was very good and with the QBD76 DAC the performance was simply excellent. I did not have any loss of signal and nor did i detect any unpleasant sibilance through the Chordette Gem or QBD76 DAC.

Thanks

Rick @ Musicraft

So we still have a situation of cr*p in and cr*p out. mp3's are never going to sound good at any bitrate. Why oh why do you guys throw your good money after bad on anything less than 16bit/44.1 lossless?
 

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