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Sony gives Android O a sound quality boost

Google's OS will deliver high-quality wireless audio thanks to the help.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 21, 2017
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If you pick up some future Android O phone and notice that your wireless headphones sound much better afterward, you'll have Sony to thank for it. Google has revealed that Sony is contributing a whole slew of upgrades and fixes to the upcoming mobile operating system, most notably support for its LDAC wireless audio encoding format. The technology sends three times more data through Bluetooth than typical formats, letting you listen to high-resolution audio without the usual downgrade. In other words, you won't necessarily have to cling to wired headphones just to get pristine-sounding music.

There is one inescapable gotcha, though. While phone makers won't have to pay a thing to include LDAC (it'll be part of the open source Android O release), LDAC on headphones is currently limited to Sony models like the MDR-1000X. Anyone else will probably have to pay a licensing fee, and there won't be too much incentive to pay that fee outside of high-end headphones where you're more likely to notice the difference. Even so, it's good to see wireless audio quality addressed on such a broad level without having to wait for a future wireless audio standard.

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