Android 13 QPR Beta 1 Adds Opus and LC3 Bluetooth Audio Codec Options

Hidden in the Developer Options menu, the first beta Quarterly Platform Release of Android 13 adds the ability to choose Opus and LC3 Bluetooth Audio Codecs.

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Video Description
While most people don’t bother changing the Bluetooth audio codec used in Android, it’s been an option under the hidden Developer Options menu for quite a while now. But if you’ve ever tried to enhance the quality of the audio streaming to your Bluetooth device then you may have come across this feature in the past.

By default, Android chooses the system default when it comes to the Bluetooth audio codec it wants to use. For most of us, this ends up being something like SBC or AAC. They are the most common codec options available in Bluetooth audio devices which means they also have the widest range of support too.

However, these two are considered lossy codec since they significantly compress the audio stream for very fast wireless transfer to your devices. This is great when it comes to performance and compatibility, but other Bluetooth audio codec options can improve the quality by a wide margin.

You’ll want to refer to the box or manual that came with your Bluetooth device to find out which codecs are supported by your device.

In Android 13 QPR Beta 1, we’re seeing some nice additions when it comes to which audio codec options are available for your Bluetooth devices.

The first new addition that we see here is LC3, which stands for Low Complexity Communication Codec and it was developed as the successor of SBC. Its goal is to provide higher audio quality and better packet loss concealment than SBC and some tests put it a step further than earlier versions of Opus, which we’ll get to in a minute.

The spec was created for the LE Audio audio protocol, which was introduced in Bluetooth 5.2 and will now be an option you can pick from when choosing the Bluetooth Audio Codec of your choice.

The second new addition that we see here is called Opus and was designed to efficiently code speed and general audio while remaining low-latency enough for real-time interactive communication. It tries to reduce is complexity enough so that even low-end chips can efficiently use the codec for improved audio quality.

Opus is an open format standard and because of the features and its abilities, it is widely used in VoIP applications like Discord, WhatsApp, and others.

The easiest way to change the default Bluetooth audio codec is by diving into the hidden Developer Options menu revealed when you enable Developer Mode on Android.

If you’re not familiar with how this is done, be sure to check the video description below as I’ll have direct links to tutorials that show you how this is done on various Android smartphones.

It’s great to see Google finally adding in better Bluetooth audio support into Android with this Quarterly Platform Release as this should help to improve audio quality for these Bluetooth devices.

Step by Step Tutorial
1. Intro [00:00]
2. Found in Developer Options menu [01:50]

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