How to check supported Bluetooth audio codecs on Android, and switch between them

Bluetooth headphones are undeniably convenient, but they don’t match wired earbuds in terms of sound quality. This is not to say that all wired headphones are better than Bluetooth headphones. It’s just that there is a lot of data that you can transfer via Bluetooth. Bluetooth isn’t great at transferring a large amount of data at high speed. This is where the Bluetooth codecs come into the picture.

What is a Bluetooth codec?

Bluetooth audio codecs are complex algorithms that compress audio into small packets for faster wireless transmission. SBC and AAC are the two common codecs that you’ll find support for on most Bluetooth headphones. They are also called lossy codecs because they greatly compress data, aiming for stability and speed over audio quality. Then there are special codecs like aptX and LDAC that offer higher transmission rates and lower latency but are only available on expensive headphones.

How to check which Bluetooth codecs are supported on your Android phone?

Android natively supports a wide range of audio codecs over Bluetooth, but that’s only one part of the story. In order to use a particular codec, both your Android device and your earphone/headphone/speaker must support it as well.

To check the list of supported Bluetooth codecs supported on your Android device, go to Settings > Developer options > Bluetooth audio codec.

Most Android phones support the following Bluetooth audio codecs:

  • SBC
  • AAC
  • aptX
  • aptX HD
  • LDAC
  • aptX adaptation
  • aptX TWS
  • LHDC

If you have a Samsung phone, you can also get the Samsung Scalable Codec, a special codec that is only compatible with select Galaxy phones and Galaxy Buds series earphones.

To see which audio codecs your Bluetooth device supports, check the product box or visit the manufacturer’s website.

How to change the Bluetooth codec for best performance?

Changing the Bluetooth codec may improve sound quality, reduce latency, and improve stability. To get the most out of your Bluetooth headphones, you should always use the best codec your device has to offer – anything other than SBC will count as best. Heres how to do it.

There are two ways to change the Bluetooth codecs on your Android phone:

First method

  • Connect Bluetooth headphones to your Android smartphone.
  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth and Connected Devices or Devices.

Android displays connected Bluetooth devices

  • Tap the gear icon that appears next to the connected Bluetooth device.

Android Bluetooth device settings

  • Here you will see a toggle called HD audio. Enable it to ensure that you are using the best codec available.

Note that some OEM skins omit the “HD audio” syntax and just include the name of the codec.

secondary method

  • Go to Settings > About phone.
  • Keep tapping on “Build number” until you see “You are a developer now” or “Developer settings are enabled”.
  • Go to developer settings and scroll down to “Bluetooth Audio Codec”.

Blueooth Audio Codec menu in Android developer settings

  • Click on it to see the list of available Bluetooth codecs.

List of Bluetooth codecs in Android developer settings

  • Select a high-quality codec that the headphones support, such as aptX, aptX HD, or LDAC. In recent versions of Android, codecs that your Bluetooth device doesn’t support are grayed out. Some older versions will let you select any codec. However, it won’t make any difference unless your headphones support it.


While some smartphones automatically choose the best available codec when connecting Bluetooth headphones/speakers, some take a conservative approach and opt for SBC. This means that you may not get the best sound and response time that your headphones can deliver. But if you follow the above steps, you can get the best possible sound and performance from your device.

(Visited 97 times, 1 visits today)

Related posts