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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity onboard audio and visual products have become a major selling point for manufacturers across the board. From a consumer’s perspective, it’s easy to understand why. Most homes have Wi-Fi networks and computers loaded with media just begging to be used, not to mention most homeowners are attached to smart devices that are equally loaded with media and music streaming apps. Then there’s the little issue of wires, which Bluetooth and Wi-Fi excel at eliminating. Ease of use is the name of game, and wireless technologies couldn't be much easier to integrate into one's listening habits.


Unfortunately streamed audio can suffer in the quality department, a characteristic that consumers have been surprisingly non-reactive to. But the tide is changing and the push for better sound is underway; whether this is consumer or manufacturer driven is up for debate, but one would have to assume that everyone would prefer convenience and quality when given the choice.

If you’ve been following the spec sheets for new audio gear in recent history, you’ve undoubtedly come across the name “aptX.” For those of you unfamiliar, aptX is a Bluetooth audio codec designed by a company called CSR. It compresses data within the available bandwidth of wireless transmission. The difference between aptX and many other codecs is the solution’s ability to retain the full integrity of a digital audio file. CSR says the result is a file transfer that sounds indistinguishable from wired audio, matching CD-quality performance. This technology is purely transfer based (it does not, and cannot, make Low-Res files sound better).

CSR has found rapid success with its aptX codec; they claim more than 250 manufacturers are using it in products ranging from smartphones and tablets to headphones and speakers. Recently, the company announced a new partnership with Panasonic to have aptX onboard select Panasonic flat screen televisions. Panasonic already supports aptX across numerous other products including headphones, speakers, and sound bars.

“Panasonic exemplifies how high-end brands are adopting aptX to deliver the highest quality Bluetooth audio in both source devices and accessories,” says Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President, Business Group at CSR. “Consumers want to enjoy a rich wireless audio listening experience wherever they are and whatever device they’re listening through. Brands are recognizing this, which is why aptX continues to be integrated into new types of devices.”

This move by Panasonic opens a new audio door for potential owners. Sound bars without a mess of wires and feeds to Bluetooth enabled headphones are now a reality. With aptX thrown in the mix, owners are practically assured of better detailed sound (as opposed to a compressed wireless mess) when using aptX enable speakers or headphones. The codec’s adoption to Panasonic displays will happen in the not so distant future, potentially giving Panasonic a leg-up on the competition.

Image Credit: CSR
 
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