A2DP - How to Tell What Codec is In Use?

This is a discussion on A2DP - How to Tell What Codec is In Use? within the Android Audio forums, part of the Android Discussions category; I have been looking for an answer to this question, but my searches have led nowhere... The bluetooth specifications (at least according to Wikipedia) mention ...

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Thread: A2DP - How to Tell What Codec is In Use?

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    Android Lurker dot1qaxfr's Avatar
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    A2DP - How to Tell What Codec is In Use?

    I have been looking for an answer to this question, but my searches have led nowhere... The bluetooth specifications (at least according to Wikipedia) mention that A2DP requires the mandatory SBC codec. However, optional codecs are supported, such as MP3 and AAC (In other words, the MP3/AAC is not decoded and reencoded as SBC, but the data sent directly - "pass through" - for decoding on the other end). (see http:Bluetooth profile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) I am an audiophile that uses high bit rates and AAC codecs on my Droid (even bitrates between 320 and 500Kbps work very well , and what this feature would mean to me is no loss of quality - no transcoding to SBC - before it hits the other end. I am in the market for a new car stereo deck, so I'm looking for one that supports AAC pass through. I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) that Android supports MP3 and AAC pass through, but as most car stereo specifications list only A2DP, and not optional codecs, it is not easy to tell if SBC is the only codec supported on that end or not. Is there a way within Android, after pairing with an A2DP device, to see what optional codecs are supported? It would be great while shopping in a store to pair my phone and see exactly what is going on under the hood when playing music over Bluetooth.

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  3. #2
    Android Lurker dalejoel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dot1qaxfr View Post
    I have been looking for an answer to this question, but my searches have led nowhere... The bluetooth specifications (at least according to Wikipedia) mention that A2DP requires the mandatory SBC codec. However, optional codecs are supported, such as MP3 and AAC (In other words, the MP3/AAC is not decoded and reencoded as SBC, but the data sent directly - "pass through" - for decoding on the other end). (see http:Bluetooth profile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) I am an audiophile that uses high bit rates and AAC codecs on my Droid (even bitrates between 320 and 500Kbps work very well , and what this feature would mean to me is no loss of quality - no transcoding to SBC - before it hits the other end. I am in the market for a new car stereo deck, so I'm looking for one that supports AAC pass through. I'm pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong) that Android supports MP3 and AAC pass through, but as most car stereo specifications list only A2DP, and not optional codecs, it is not easy to tell if SBC is the only codec supported on that end or not. Is there a way within Android, after pairing with an A2DP device, to see what optional codecs are supported? It would be great while shopping in a store to pair my phone and see exactly what is going on under the hood when playing music over Bluetooth.

    Did you ever find an answer to your question? And did you verify that Android does support the codec to start with?

  4. #3
    Android Lurker rhoracio's Avatar
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    I studied this Advanced Audio Distribution Profile and bluetooth.org should also have some documentation.

    Based on that, I'd say that as long as A2DP is profile for stereo audio transfer, it is always encoded. No aka file transfer/streaming to BT device. So there is alway compression involved in the transfer.

    Regarding codecs, SBC support is mandatory whereas the other are non-mandatory. So it depends on implementation of respective manufacturer... I'd suspect fallback to SBC if devices can negotiate it as a basic denominator.

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