I remember the days when bluetooth stereo profile A2DP was introduced and the SBC codec was implemented in consumer products giving rise to the first crop of stereo bluetooth audio headsets. I was enamored with the idea of wireless stereo audio. For the uninitiated, Bluetooth uses a codec like SBC to transmit audio wirelessly. This means, whatever your source audio is, MP3, AAC, FLAC or ALAC, the transmitter (like your phone or laptop) encodes it in a codec like SBC which is then decoded by your receiver (e.g. headphones) to an audio stream seamlessly with a low'ish' latency.

SBC was not designed with audio quality in mind. Bitrates were quite low initially resulting in poor audio quality. Though several iterations of it have been released promising higher bitrates (as high as 250 kbps), the implementation in transmitters and receivers has been patchy. And then came APT with an efficient codec called aptX that was later acquired by CSR. This is a saving grace. The promise of aptX is quite steep - CD quality audio. I tested its quality compared to a wired connection on a set of high resolution headphones and I should say, it lives up to its promises. It washes conventional SBC codec down the gutter. CD quality audio? Not sure, but a convincing argument for choosing wireless for all the added convenience.

Now, imagine if someone can conjure a way to use an open source codec like FLAC or Ogg-Vorbis to operate just like aptX. That would avoid all the licensing fees for manufacturers and improve penetrance of such game changing technology into grass root devices, making it a standard in the industry.