Upcoming Windows 10 update adds support for AAC Bluetooth audio

jsilva

Posts: 85   +0
Staff
What just happened? AirPods users, rejoice! Microsoft is planning to add Bluetooth audio with AAC support to Windows 10 in its next major update. This update should only reach the stable branch later this year, but Windows Insiders can already try the feature once they download Preview Build 21370.

The AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) codec may not be widely used across the industry, but Apple devices have been employing it for quite some time. All Apple Bluetooth earphones support AAC, but due to the lack of adoption of the codec by other developers, users are somewhat bound to use them only inside Apple's ecosystem.

Taking the Apple AirPods as an example, when connecting them to a Windows 10 PC, it will use SBC because the current Windows 10 build only supports Bluetooth audio via SBC or Qualcomm's AptX. Downgrading to SBC allows the AirPods to reproduce audio, but at a loss of quality that some users may not be fond of.

This issue is solved on Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21370, which focuses on improving the Bluetooth audio experience by adding support for AAC. With this, AirPods users may finally make full use of their earphones when connected to a Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft is also redesigning the UI to offer a "unified audio endpoint." If you take a look at the taskbar sound menu, you will notice there are various options, probably too much for your liking. Windows' next big update aims to simplify this, reducing the number of options and automatically switching between them.

The new taskbar sound menu is only one of many UI improvements that Microsoft is working on. Windows 10 is expected to receive a revamped Start Menu and new File Explorer icons, and the Microsoft Store is reportedly being redesigned for the next major Windows update.

Permalink to story.

 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,577   +628
Hmmm, I don't know enough about the codecs and such to know this, but I have to wonder if this unified audio system that is mentioned will allow for people who have compatible Bluetooth headsets to actually use them for communications AND audio on Windows PCs? Recently was trying to help a friend troubleshoot a nice BT headset system he purchased, so he could use it for gaming audio and Discord communications with his gaming laptop, and discovered it's an either/or proposition because of how Windows currently handles BT devices... Ugh.
 
Last edited:

Danny101

Posts: 1,636   +700
AAC has been out for awhile now. To take so long provide support is ridiculous. Could have been one of those situations where you have to build it first. Set the market instead of waiting on one.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 141   +95
AAC has been out for awhile now. To take so long provide support is ridiculous. Could have been one of those situations where you have to build it first. Set the market instead of waiting on one.


But codec support over Bluetooth is a bit spottier (everyone has their favorite native codec to replace SBC ).

This should allow easy integration with the whole set of Apple Bluetooth headphones / speakers
 

DukeJukem

Posts: 187   +172
Can someone explain to me why we need bluetooth on a pc anyway? you need it for your phone obviously to listen to spotify etc in the car......but whats the point on a pc? connecting a bluetooth headset? get a real headset lol. bluetooth mouse? seems pointless since wireless has been there forever. bluetooth pc controller? get a real controller. is it for transfering files? I'm seriously see no reason for bluetooth to be on a motherboard but perhaps im missing a bigger picture here.

you wouldnt even need bluetooth in the car if you didnt have to pay someone to have a hotspot in the car.....

"I know you pay us for our extremely overpriced smartphone plan....but if you want that same network to work with your cars' audio equipment you have to pay us more." stupid
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,636   +700
Can someone explain to me why we need bluetooth on a pc anyway? you need it for your phone obviously to listen to spotify etc in the car......but whats the point on a pc? connecting a bluetooth headset? get a real headset lol. bluetooth mouse? seems pointless since wireless has been there forever. bluetooth pc controller? get a real controller. is it for transfering files? I'm seriously see no reason for bluetooth to be on a motherboard but perhaps im missing a bigger picture here.

you wouldnt even need bluetooth in the car if you didnt have to pay someone to have a hotspot in the car.....

"I know you pay us for our extremely overpriced smartphone plan....but if you want that same network to work with your cars' audio equipment you have to pay us more." stupid
Well there's bluetooth speakers. Good, since the built-in speakers are often underwhelming.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,636   +700
But codec support over Bluetooth is a bit spottier (everyone has their favorite native codec to replace SBC ).

This should allow easy integration with the whole set of Apple Bluetooth headphones / sp
Even if you don't get the full quality level the AAC provides, it should at least be more efficient at the level, if not a little better, than what we're getting now.
 
I noticed when configuring my kernel that Linux has already had Bluetooth AAC codec support, it was in my 5.10 kernel which isn't the latest, might be in some older kernels as well. I don't have any Apple bluetooth headphones to test it with however. It also has the industry standard APTX codec support.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 360   +452
Can someone explain to me why we need bluetooth on a pc anyway? you need it for your phone obviously to listen to spotify etc in the car......but whats the point on a pc? connecting a bluetooth headset? get a real headset lol. bluetooth mouse? seems pointless since wireless has been there forever. bluetooth pc controller? get a real controller. is it for transfering files? I'm seriously see no reason for bluetooth to be on a motherboard but perhaps im missing a bigger picture here.

you wouldnt even need bluetooth in the car if you didnt have to pay someone to have a hotspot in the car.....

"I know you pay us for our extremely overpriced smartphone plan....but if you want that same network to work with your cars' audio equipment you have to pay us more." stupid
I have a CM SK621 keyboard, because it was the tiniest wireless mechanical keyboard you could buy.
It has its uses. Especially these days when all phones require BT headphones. Most people don't hoard headphones.