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57 posts

Master Geek

#237932 25-Jun-2018 11:26
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Hi all,


With headphone jacks going by the wayside, I find myself having to consider bluetooth for headphones.


I currently have a pair of Sennheiser HD.440BTs and they're pretty good, but I've had wired headphones in the past that sound better to me. Some of the issue is that these headphones support AptX but iOS devices do not, so the sound quality isn't as high when listening from my iPhone when compared to listening using the cable or from my Mac (macOS DOES support AptX).


Does anyone have any recommendations for a bluetooth equipped headphone amp? AAC support is a must as it seems to be the only codec other than the default SBC which iOS supports.


I think I'd prefer a portable one, but a desktop one could be of interest too.



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57 posts

Master Geek

  #2049825 5-Jul-2018 14:22
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Just in case anyone is interested in the future, I looked at a number of options. The most popular and cost effective were:


Fiio BTR1v2 (BTR3 due for release soon): - Bluetooth DAC and headphone amp with SBC, AAC, and AptX bluetooth codec support.


Bluewave GET: - Bluetooth DAC and headphone amp with SBC, AAC, AptX, AptX LL and AptX HD bluetooth codec support.


Radsone Earstudio ES100: - USB and Bluetooth DAC and headphone amp with SBC, AAC, AptX and AptX HD bluetooth codec support.




SBC is the default bluetooth audio codec and doesn't sound very good.


AAC is the only other option for iOS devices and does sound a lot better than SBC.


AptX is roughly equivalent to AAC and is supported by Android and macOS


AptX HD is a much higher bitrate version of AptX and is supported on some later Android devices




The Fiio BTR1 v2 is easy to get in NZ, the other two are only available internationally. The Bluewave GET is available directly from the manufacturer whereas Radsone sell through Amazon.




After a fair bit of research, I settled on the Radsone Earstudio ES100 over the other two as it got better reviews (both sound quality and features). Ordered through Amazon US and it was delivered safe and sound about a week later.




So far so good. It's included app has some useful features and it has been working well with my iPhone. The sound quality seems good... I'm not sure I can tell the difference between using it and having it plugged into the phone directly (which for bluetooth audio is a good thing!).

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