I purchased the Galaxy Note 9 on release day as I had been advised it would support the aptx HD Bluetooth streaming codec like the Galaxy S9/S9+. As I had purchased a pair of Bowers + Wilkins PX wireless headphones at the beginning of the year I was looking forward to taking advantage of their aptx HD support with my Tidal subscription. It transpires that none of these supposed "flagship" devices actually have this codec installed natively, although it is apparently possible to install it if you are willing to root the device, which I am not. It seems ludicrous that a phone costing the best part of £1000 would not be compatible with aptx HD. Although the UK spec Note 9 has an Exynos processor it does not appear to be a processor limitation despite aptx HD being a Qualcomm product as the Note 9 does have standard aptx capabililities. It is also capable of playing HiFi quality audio as it has support for both the LDAC and Samsung HD codecs.
As it is not a hardware limitation and there is evidence that the codec can be installed with root access my question is will Samsung make this codec available in a software update (preferably before the inevitably delayed launch of Pie) or is there any other way to install it without invalidating my warranty? I had the option of the Note 9 or the Huawei P20 Pro (which does natively support aptx HD) but prefer Samsung devices having owned a Note 2, Note 4, S7 Edge, several Samsung TVs and computer monitors & now the Note 9. If i had known at the time that aptx HD was not available on the Note 9 I would have taken the P20 Pro.
Thanks for the reply @sithlord. I looked in Developer Options and could only find Qualcomm aptx as it's displayed in your screenshot not aptx HD. The 2 codecs have completely separate descriptions on the Qualcomm website so it would seem appropriate for Samsung to differentiate between the 2 in Developer Options rather than use the name of an older codec in place of a newer one which would just lead to confusion. Also, when playing music through the Tidal app I would expect to see a sample rate of 96 kHz at 24 bits per sample but what I actually see is 44.1 kHz at 16 bits per sample which is the same as the original no HD aptx codec. I have tried manually changing them but they revert to the original settings as soon I back out of Developer Options. In addition, the rooted way of enabling this is to install a zip file through custom recovery which is specifically called "aptx HD enabler" which does something to the system files and one of the entries is along the lines of "....aptx HD enabled=true". Taking all of the above into consideration I'm pretty confident that the aptx codec in Developer Options is not the HD one.
Seems like a massive oversight surely.
Myself I use LDAC and completely misread the "HD" at the end of what you wrote, apologies.
Seems odd that aptX HD isn't available on an AKG tuned Atmos optimised device, bonkers in fact.
Bonkers is right! I had a web chat with a Samsung rep who said it was definitely coming in a future software update but he would take a note of my comments and wouldn't rest until my problem was resolved then pointed me in the direction of the Samsung Members app to make a suggestion for the codec to be added so read into that what you will. Incidentally I had a reply on the app saying they had no idea why I would have been passed to them.
If adding it unofficially is as simple as rooting the device and installing a zip file I cant imagine it would be difficult for the actual manufacturer of the device to officially add it. I use my phone for work purposes so cant afford to invalidate my warranty or break Knox which is the only reason i wont root. Surely it cant be a licensing issue as they've got the license to use the original one and as I said previously it's not hardware related because apparently the overseas Snapdragon devices don't have it either.
Is it still under consideration?
I just want to add, that this is currently preventing my buying decision for the Note 9.
Bluetooth devices are getting more and more popular and a premium smartphone should support premium audio quality. Especially when the US Version using the Qualcomm Chipset does support this codec.
Hi @staeff. Fully appreciate wanting top quality audio.
No update on this one as of yet - other than it's been officially logged as a suggestion by our software team. We'll keep you folks posted of any feedback we get from the developers.
Note to get off topic but what font are you using, I like it.
Also I'm having a similar issue with the new Sony XM3 defaulting to aptX only. When I change to LDAC in dev options my Note 9 will revert back to aptX.