Nov 28, 2018536 views

The wireless gap narrows

I’ve been chasing a workplace desktop setup over the years. I’ve burned through the Chord Mojo/Poly combo & Aune B1s (sold). My latest set up is powered by a dimunitively sized Vorzuge Pure II + analogue amp. I utilize MPOW aptx HD adapters for BT signal transmission & reception. The amp input, from my iPhone (XS Max), is driven by an adapter in Rx mode (receiver). The output BT signal, from the amp, is then transmitted (Tx mode) to my Sennheiser HD1 headphones (paired). I’ve conducted my own casual level A/B testing...& I honestly can’t hear a sonic difference between using cables or this wireless set up. It’s astonishing how far wireless technology has grown. Transportable hifi...for audiophiles on the go...amazing!
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thrillho, Megazine, and 4 others
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Wait I am a little confused. You have bluetooth headphones and a phone. Why is all of this in the middle? I am like #1 in the Pro-Bluetooth arena so I am just trying to figure out the benefit of this setup. Going straight from Phone to Cans should yield a more "pure" result. I have even recommended putting the older Mpow Tx adapters to the output of my Darkvoice Tube amp and hearing the results on a matching Rx adapter attached to my cans. So if this is the same thing where you are just "F_cking" with the signal to take some of the attributes of the amp I suppose that makes sense. Also gives you a better volume knob honestly.
ZeosPantera
Hi Zeos, My wife asks the same question of me.🤣 Maybe it’s all a placebo effect? However...I personally don’t think so though. The fidelity boost that the Vorzuge II + amp adds...even with BT cans....is sonically more dynamic to my ears with the amp in play (than without). It has increasingly crept into my preferred method of listening to music from my phone. However time will tell if I'll continue to include an amp, in wireless mode, between my phone & BT headsets (or not).
For what it's worth, I've played around a good bit with Bluetooth, both on headphones and with speakers. I don't have enough equipment to make a universal statement, but I think that since BT 3.0, the improvements have come from other factors in the chain, outside the Bluetooth standard itself. 3.0 and above has enough bandwidth to deliver a good digital signal. The ability to pair a tiny, high quality DAC and amp in a headphone with good, sensitive speakers, in a package you can wear comfortably on your head is what has come a long way in the past few years.

In my experience, aptx doesn't make a difference in sound quality. What it does do better is decrease latency. My first pairing of two aptx devices was the first time I had a satisfactory experience watching a video with BT headphones. (but please don't take that as an excuse to lock oneself in the overpriced Apple ecosystem).

For most people, I think it's entirely possible to have a highly satisfactory wireless "stack" as a primary listening setup nowadays.
So how are you actually getting aptX level BT out of the iPhone... that does not support aptX? https://www.aptx.com/products?field_product_category_tid=126
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Starting with Android 9.0 you get to choose what Bluetooth codec you want to use. It's in the developer options menu. To unlock the developer options menu you click on your" build number" 5 times in the "about phone" section of your settings menu. Of course in order for you to switch codecs, your BT device needs to be compatible with it. I'm streaming music to my Sound Blaster E5 through AptX right now. Sounds pretty good.
I have owned the ES100 for a while now, it supported AptXHD before the LDAC update. Your phone must be compatible and the last time I looked that list was still fairly small. LG V20 was the first phone I know of with AptXHD and it certainly got me to back bluetooth more. Once my V20 got LDAC I updated the firmware on the ES100 and the difference between AptXHD and LDAC is noticeable. Maybe only 5-10% between LDAC on the ES100 vs. direct connect to my V20 with the Noble K10. LDAC is a battery hog on both sides of the equation. I don't agree with any of the comments that codec and source file are no longer the key determining factor in bluetooth fidelity. Edit: So everyone's clear, LDAC is not lossless compression (all BT codecs are lossy). It's just a lossy compression format with a much higher data bandwidth to be able to handle higher bit rate files without crushing the "soul" of the file.