Bluetooth Codecs in Apple iPhone 13: Understanding Audio Quality

So you are on a bus, making your way home after a long day at work or school. The noise is annoying; you’re not necessarily in a bad mood, but you prefer not to have all the noise interrupting your thoughts. You do that thing that nearly everyone does these days: plug your ears with your wireless headphones, lean back in the chair and take a deep breath as your favourite playlist or podcast comes on. Your phone is out of sight, safely tucked away deep in your backpack or handbag… or maybe just your pockets somewhere.

Just a few decades ago, you would not have been able to achieve this because you would have needed long wires to connect the phone and the headsets. What is more, the headset would have been big and conspicuous. You technically wouldn’t have been able to “plug it into your ears.” rather, it would have been more like ear muffs. 

Bluetooth Codecs in Apple iPhone 13

But with the help of recent technology like Bluetooth codecs, you can now listen to content coming straight from your phone without actually having the phone out or needing to connect it to large earmuff-like speakers with long, cumbersome wires. But the progress is more than just a wireless connection or the size of the headset device. It is about the quality of sound, the speed of delivery, the resilience under pressure and the general experience of using the device. 

But we can’t but agree that we notice significant differences in the quality of these features as deployed from device to device. This article particularly explores the iPhone 13, one of the reigning devices on the market and its specific Bluetooth capabilities. 

What type of Bluetooth codec does it use, and what does this specific codec offer? How does the codec affect the basic Bluetooth functionality of the iPhone 13, and are there products that offer better or worse Bluetooth features?

Read this article to the very end because it answers all these questions and more.

What are Bluetooth codecs?

Bluetooth codecs are algorithms that package and deliver audio signals between devices during wireless transmission. They are responsible for audio data compression and transmission from one device to another. But they don’t just package and deliver signals; they also determine the quality of the signal that is delivered and with what efficiency, depending on their own quality, design, efficiency and even compatibility.

Their functionality may also be slightly different, making some (like) ideal for live streaming and others (like aptX and LDAC) for such activities as gaming and audiophilia activities due to their reduced latency and superior audio quality.

Phones that support a range of Bluetooth codecs often offer better compatibility with a wide array of audio devices as well as the flexibility to prioritize factors like sound quality or latency depending on user preferences and usage scenarios.

Does Apple iPhone 13 support aptX codecs? 

The simple and straight forward answer to this is “No”.

The Apple iPhone 13 does not support the aptX codecs, be it aptX Adaptive or aptX HD. Apple devices, including the iPhone 13, typically prioritize the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) codec for Bluetooth audio transmission. 

While aptX is a popular codec known for its superior audio quality and reduced latency, it is not compatible with Apple’s devices, including the iPhone series. Therefore, users of the iPhone 13 will not be able to take advantage of the aptX codec for their Bluetooth audio needs.

It is however important to note that Apple  has made something that works better with their phones better than the devices trhat use aptX. Apple AirPlay offers lossless sound over nearly any connection and offers superior metadata as well.

Does Apple iPhone 13 have LDAC Bluetooth Codec?

 Again, the answer to this question is “No”.

The LDAC was developed by Sony and is known for its ability to transmit high-resolution audio wirelessly with minimal loss in quality . However, LDAC is not natively supported on Apple devices, including the iPhone 13. Therefore, users looking to use LDAC-enabled headphones or audio equipment will need to consider alternative Bluetooth codecs supported by the iPhone 13, such as AAC and SBC.

So what are the Bluetooth codecs in Apple iPhone 13?

So what Bluetooth codecs are supported by Apple iPhone 13?
  • AAC (Advanced Audio Coding):

AAC is known for its efficient compression and high-quality audio reproduction. Apple devices, including the iPhone 13,  employ AAC, this makes it the default codec for wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth.

Furthermore, AAC offers amazing sound fidelity and relatively low latency. This makes it ideal for streaming music, podcasts, and videos.

  • SBC (Subband Coding):

SBC is the default codec for all Bluetooth audio transmission. It is a basic requirement and is supported by all Bluetooth-enabled devices, including the iPhone 13.

The SBC  audio quality is good enough and it is compatible with many different devices. it may, however, not offer clarity as strong as other advanced codecs.

What this Means for iPhone 13 Users:

The fact that iphones employ AAC and SBC ensures broad compatibility with a wide range of Bluetooth devices, including headphones, speakers, and car stereos.

While aptX and LDAC offer superior audio quality compared to AAC and SBC, iPhone 13 users can still enjoy impressive sound reproduction for most listening scenarios.

So, what phones support aptX?

Some phones from the following phone brands support different aptX codecs:

  1. Nokia
  2. OnePlus
  3. Asus
  4. Sony Xperia
  5. Motorola
  6. Xiaomi


The Apple iPhone 13 offers users the use of Bluetooth codecs which prioritize compatibility, sound quality, and latency. It isnt supportive of codecs like aptX and LDAC but it does offer a mesmerizing audio experience through AAC and SBC codecs.

When paired with the right and compatible bluetooth devices, the iPhone 13 has the capacity to really make you lose yourself in quality audio feedback. Careful though so you dont sleep off on the bus, because the audio fidelity and versatility can make you miss your stop.

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