AptX Adaptive wants to fix Bluetooth audio quirks, starting in Android P

Qualcomm says aptX Adaptive adjusts depending on whether you're listening to music, streaming video or playing games.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
Blue Satellite Wireless Headphones

No wire? No problem. Qualcomm is working to make Bluetooth audio better.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As new phones ditch the headphone jack, more people are depending on Bluetooth headphones. And Qualcomm is working to ensure that Bluetooth audio connection is just as stable as the wired alternative.

On Friday, Qualcomm announced aptX Adaptive, a technology that dynamically changes the bit rate (think the file size of the audio that is being sent to your headphones) of your Bluetooth audio depending on what you're listening to and the environment you're listening in.

While wireless headphones have less mess than wired ones, a wireless connection can mean breaks in signal or interference. Breaks in audio and dropped connection are problems that CNET found on even the best Bluetooth headphones, and Qualcomm is looking to solve this.

AptX Adaptive is designed to account for the external radio frequency environment to give you a more stable connection. So the audio signal would adjust depending on whether you're outside where there's a lot of competing signals, or indoors where there are less.

Qualcomm says that aptX Adaptive ensures low latency, so there's no delay in audio. The tech also automatically adjusts to give you the most optimal sound depending on what you're listening to (music, videos, games, podcasts, etc.).

Qualcomm says aptX Adaptive will come to phones and tablets that run Android 9 Pie starting in December. Qualcomm told CNET that headphones that support aptX Adaptive are expected on the market next year.