MDR-1000X, getting the best audio with Apple stuff

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by DragonJade, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #1
    I just got a pair of MDR-1000X headphones and want to make the best of getting the best audio out of them as possible from my iPhone 5S, iPad Pro and 2012 MacBook Pro as I play them over Bluetooth.

    Am I right in saying I should just rip everything as Apple Lossless? Most of the songs I've got were ripped years ago from my CDs as MP3s as 128 or 192Kbps.

    Thanks.
     
  2. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2013
    #2
    FYI, 1000X does not support aptX or apple lossless over iOS's Bluetooth. The best way is to encode all your files to AAC 256Kbps. MP3s will sound inferior since it won't use the AAC codec that's included with the 1000X
     
  3. DragonJade, May 3, 2017
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

    DragonJade thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for your response.

    If I converted all my CDs to Apple lossless so I could play them at the highest quality possible on the MBP though my speakers, what bitrate would they be sent via bluetooth to the headphones if I had a copy of the same files on iOS? I'm thinking about storage space on my iOS devices by having full sized ALAC v 256Kbps ACC on iOS, and having two copies of all my music - one for MBP and one for iOS.
     
  4. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2013
    #4
    You'll be wasting your space as the Bluetooth SBC codec (if your files aren't in AAC format) will only transmit 328 Kbps of data: http://soundexpert.org/news/-/blogs/bluetooth-audio-quality-a2dp

    Therefore, the Apple lossless format will still be compressed to 328kbps via SBC codec delivered through Bluetooth A2DP profile.

    The cool feature of the AAC codec support is that there's no compression going on or any conversion to sbc codec that might cause audio degradation. To know if there's any discernable difference to your ears, just try both formats and see if AAC codec or SBC codec sounds better.
     
  5. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Hi! Sorry about digging out this thread. I am finding Spotify to sound disgusting in wireless using my iPhone 6 and my MDR-1000x. I use "Extreme" quality on Spotify which is 320kbps Ogg Vorbis.
    Are you suggesting that if the source is not AAC (of all major streaming services, I think only Apple Music does AAC: Spotify does Ogg Vorbis, Deezer is MP3, Anghami is Dolby Digital+...), the iPhone reverts back to the lower quality SBC instead of trying to at least decode from Ogg Vorbis and encode it on-the-fly into AAC?
    Interesting...

    thanks
     
  6. cbautis2, Sep 5, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017

    cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2013
    #6
    iPhone decodes Vorbis codec and decompresses it to 16-bit 44.1 KHz PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) stream. The PCM stream (side note: if you look at AIFF or WAV that is essentially is PCM in a "container" and that in its uncompressed form is 1411 kbps) is then compressed to SBC standards which is only 328 kbps (for a 44.1KHz sample rate), only 23.2 % of whole information. That 23.2% is what goes to your 1000X which will then be converted to sound through the 1000X's DAC (digital to analog converter)

    See here: http://www.couthit.com/codec-sbc.asp

    For AAC playback, iPhone DOES NOT decode the AAC. Instead, it transmits the AAC file without prior decoding whatsoever via Bluetooth (therefore no losses) which the processor inside your 1000X will decode and decompress to 1411 kbps 16-bit PCM and the DAC inside will convert 100% of the information in that AAC file instead of 23.2% of it to sound, giving you equal sound to playing an AAC file wired!

    That's the reason some Bluetooth headphones don't support AAC.

    AptX works on a similar fashion as AAC where the file that is transmitted is not decoded to PCM prior to sending over Bluetooth.

    A quote from Wikipedia states, "The aptX audio codec is available for consumer and automotive wireless audio applications, notably the real-time streaming of lossy stereo audio over the Bluetooth A2DP connection/pairing between a "source" device (such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop) and a "sink" accessory (namely a Bluetooth stereo speaker, headset or headphones). aptX technology must be incorporated in both transmitter and receiver to derive the sonic benefits of aptX audio coding over the default sub-band coding (SBC) mandated by the Bluetooth standard."

    AptX is not limited to AAC, therefore if you play an MP3 which is lossy, that file will be transmitted via Bluetooth without decoding so no information is lost during the transit, provided that the receiver can decode the file and convert it to sound. I believe OGG vorbis is also supported through AptX especially when those Bluetooth speakers feature Spotify connect or something along those lines.

    Hope that helps explaining the quality difference between Bluetooth codecs
     
  7. negativzero macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 19, 2011
    #7
    I use the MDR-1000X in wired mode coupled with a good headphone amp. They sound so much better than through Bluetooth.
     
  8. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Very interestingly, the Lightning-to-jack adapter Apple sells is a cheap way to get excellent wired audio. Its hardware CirrusLogic CS42L42 codec (the same as in 3rd party Lightning audio devices, like the Philips Fidelio or Audeze EL-8 headphones) does decode and output 24/192 audio, whereas the DAC in the iPhone 6/6s (the 7/8 don't have an audio jack...) is limited in software to 16/44.
    So if you have an iPhone 6s and a subscription to Qobuz Sublime+ (the Hi-Res streaming service), you do get a higher resolution sound by using the Apple Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter than by plugging your headphones cord straight into your built-in headphone jack.


    http://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/info/hi-res-guide/bancs-d-essai/we-ve-tried-it-the-apple-lightning178666
     
  9. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #9
    Yes, it will decode and output 24/192 but it doesn't amplify the sound or output it properly, listening to music through the jack doesn't improve the analog quality so you still need a better amp.

    I'm using the Accessport by ADV-Sound for my portable music needs. Its more than enough for portable music. At home, I have a proper 24/192 setup with my MacBook.

    https://www.adv-sound.com/collections/all-collection/products/accessport
     

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