The Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is giving its phones a huge boost in its Bluetooth capabilities. The most recent Android Oreo update for Xiaomi devices comes with LDAC support. This will significantly increase the quality of audio transmitted through Xiaomi devices via Bluetooth.
LDAC is an audio coding technology developed by Sony. It was unveiled at CES 2015 and is 3x more efficient than standard Bluetooth codecs. LDAC enables the transmission of high-resolution (Hi-res) audio transmission wirelessly. Standard Bluetooth compatible coding technologies like SBC compress audio before transmitting it wirelessly. LDAC makes it possible for audio to be transmitted without any down-conversion of audio, and hence without loss of quality. This essentially means that wireless audio on LDAC sounds as good as wired audio.
Now that Xiaomi devices running Android Oreo are getting LDAC support, Xiaomi users will be able to enjoy a better audio experience on their LDAC compatible Bluetooth devices. Not only that, they will also enjoy better connectivity with devices like gamepads.
Announced with Android Oreo
It is not unique for Xiaomi to be introducing LDAC support for its devices with Android Oreo. When Google announced Android Oreo last year, they also announced their collaboration with Sony to integrate the LDAC codec with Oreo. This would allow phone manufacturers to implement it on their devices. Before this announcement, LDAC was available only on Sony devices like the Xperia line of smartphones.
LDAC is now supported on most devices that have Android Oreo, like the Google Pixel 2 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. As Android Oreo becomes mainstream, more devices will get on the LDAC coding technology.
One important caveat is that LDAC is not supported on many Bluetooth devices as of now. It is supported on all of Sony’s devices, obviously. The average Bluetooth speakers will currently probably not be LDAC compatible, though. Hopefully, as LDAC becomes mainstream, more Bluetooth devices from a variety of manufacturers will become LDAC compatible.
This does not mean, however, that there will be no benefit of having LDAC on your smartphone without a compatible audio device. While LDAC can be phenomenal for LDAC compatible devices, it also does increase the Bluetooth audio quality and connectivity in general. This means that Xiaomi users running Android Oreo should see some improvement in Bluetooth audio.