Here are my guesses as to why Samsung does not support Aptx hd or Aptx Adaptive in its phones
Only Snapdragon processors natively support Aptx hd and more recently Aptx adaptive and Aptx products are Qualcomm owned. As Samsung is also using Exynos processor based phones in some parts of the world which doesnt natively support Aptx hd or Aptx adaptive Samsung do not want to give unfair advantage to Snapdragon phone users over Exynos or have to pay for licensing fees for Aptx hd and Adaptive hardware to Qualcomm for Exynos phones so they disabled functionality on Snapdragon devices. My guess is standard Aptx is supported as it can easily be implemented via software (Aptx hd and adaptive are hardware only) and besides Samsung can not ignore Aptx standard as almost every Bluetooth product supports it. So to sum up I believe that Aptx hd and adaptive are not supported due to Exynos and licensing fees to Qualcomm
Unfortunately, Samsung has their own scalable codec and even on Qualcomm Snapdragon devices chooses to not support APTXHD despite it being more than capable. They support LDAC which is Sony's codec and is more capable than APTX except limited to only Sony's Earphones and Headphones that support it. Samsung has no intentions of ditching exynos, that is their cash cow. If anything Samsung is going to ditch Qualcomm one day and that'll be the day Samsung becomes less appealing to me. It's just a matter of this cellular data issue they have with Qualcomm to somehow end or become irrelevant for Samsung to become 100% exynos. That day may never come but don't expect them to use more Qualcomm, they already screwed over the entirety of the EU, some Asian countries and UK shipping the exynos 990 which they know is so bad they chose to not even use it in their own country, South Korea.
If you want high quality audio on Samsung phones you need to buy Sony devices that support the LDAC codec or Samsungs own which I'm unfamiliar with. Any device that purely uses APTXHD will default to APTX. That's down to Samsung and trying to make their Snapdragon and Exynos models equal by removing features others can't have to diminish transparency between the two. For example, I believe the snapdragon s20 Ultra would be more than capable of 2K resolution at 96Hz. It's likely not supported because the exynos 990 can barely handle anything above 1080p 60Hz due to the mongoose cores being completely messed up this year. If anyone is interested though and has poor battery life performance on their s20 phone search up the app that allows for a 96Hz refresh rate. It may save you a bit of battery without being overly noticeable between 120Hz.
Thanks for your post it was very informative. As you mentioned the fact that Samsung use a Snapdragon chip for its S20 series in South Korea says all we need to know about their faith in Exynos. Using Europe and other parts of the world as an Exynos guinea pig may backfire on them. My S9 will be my last Samsung phone until they decide to listen to their customers and stop trying to be the Apple of the Android world
I own a Galaxy A70s. I think the A70 and A70s are almost similar except for the camera.
I checked the codecs in developer settings and the aptx option was there.
Here are the Bluetooth audio codecs from my Xiaomi Mi 10 pro to compare. So much more choice of codecs than on my Samsung S9. Granted its a newer phone but to not have at least Aptx HD is strange. With Bluetooth earphone sales increasing year on year Samsung have some serious catching up to do on this front.
Hi chris, Just read your post!
A saw a samsung moderator also commenting way back in last year that aptx Apadtive support will be enabled via a software update.
I have the lattest S20 Plus and it's a shame to mention that it still doesn't support aptx adaptive, LL or HD.
I don't know where that software upgrade is!
I guess it has something to do with the inferior exynos chips.
This will be my last samsung phone if they don't give us the snapdragon chips in future flaghsips.
I have one question, as I have one chinese earphones from tronsmart that support the APTX LL codec and my expensive s20 only support the basic aptx, will I still be able to get the ultra low latency rates that we are supposed to get with APTX LL codec or do we need both devices to support it at the same time ?