Samsung makes some of the best wireless earbuds for Android phones. But they work best when paired with Galaxy devices, as some of their features are compatible only with Samsung’s mobile devices. So, for anyone who owns a non-Galaxy phone or tablet, Galaxy Buds don’t offer all the possible features. Going forward, Samsung can solve one of those shortcomings.
Every wireless earbud or headphone needs a wireless audio codec to work with. There are a variety of wireless audio codecs available, and SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, LLAC, LHDC, SSC, and Samsung Seamless Codec HiFi are some of them. SBC is Bluetooth’s default audio codec and is present on all Bluetooth audio products. It is considered the most basic among all these codecs and understandably offers the lowest quality. AAC offers better performance than SBC and is present on a lot of wireless earbuds. However, AAC on Android devices isn’t as stable as it is on iPhones and iPads.
Galaxy Buds lack aptX or aptX HD, but that can change in the future
The Galaxy Buds series supports AAC, SBC, SSC, and Samsung Seamless Codec HiFi (only Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for now) wireless audio codecs. aptX and aptX HD, developed by Qualcomm, offer better quality than AAC while also offering lower latency, and they have worked on all Android smartphones and tablets since Android 8.0. However, they are missing from the Galaxy Buds lineup.
To achieve the best wireless audio on Galaxy Buds, you’ll have to use SSC or Samsung Seamless Codec HiFi, which claim to offer audio quality similar to aptX and aptX HD, respectively. However, aptX and aptX HD are not present on non-Samsung Android phones and tablets. So, anyone using Galaxy Buds on a non-Samsung phone has to settle for a slightly lower-grade audio codec, resulting in some loss of audio fidelity. That can soon change, though.
Qualcomm has open-sourced aptX and aptX HD
It is being reported that Qualcomm open-sourced aptX and aptX HD (via Android Police). The wireless audio codecs are now a part of the AOSP Apache license and Android’s APEX, which means they are now free to use. It means that companies like Samsung won’t have to pay Qualcomm anymore to use these technologies in their wireless earbuds. So, it is now the right time for Samsung to bring aptX and aptX HD to future Galaxy Buds without increasing the cost and offering consumers more choices.
Earlier, any brand that wanted to use aptX and aptX HD in their speakers, wireless headphones, or receivers needed to pay as much as $6000 as a one-time fee in addition to per-device payment. This is the reason why brands like Audio Technica, Google, Honor, JBL, Logitech, Nothing, and Samsung didn’t implement it in a lot of their wireless earbuds. Who knows, maybe even Apple could bring aptX to its wireless earbuds in the future.
If Samsung brings aptX to the Galaxy Buds lineup, they could also offer better audio quality and latency when paired with Galaxy Books running Windows 10 or Windows 11.