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On version 10.15 Beta (19A558d) I can't seem to get aptX to work anymore and was wondering if anyone else has aptX working still? Could this possibly have been removed?

Hardware: Late 2018 MacBook Pro 15, Bowers & Wilkins PX.

Screenshot of only AAC

Trying to force aptX via Bluetooth Explorer from Additional Tools for XCode 11 GM Seed doesn't seem to be giving any results either. I have tried the following combinations, restarting Bluetooth each time:

☐ Force use of aptX ☐ Disable AAC
☐ Disable aptX ☑️ Enable AAC
Result: Active Codec: AAC

☑️ Force use of aptX ☑️ Disable AAC
☐ Disable aptX ☐ Enable AAC
Result: Active Codec: SBC

☑️ Force use of aptX ☐ Disable AAC
☐ Disable aptX ☑️ Enable AAC
Result: Active Codec: AAC

Screenshot of Bluetooth Explorer

  • In all combination you mentioned I get SBC codec 😕 – Behzadsh Oct 23 at 5:25
  • You are lucky to have AAC active. I'm stuck with SCO codec - it sounds as if someone is talking out of a pipe. UPD: found that input in sound prefs has to be changed to "Internal Mic", now I get SBC too. – Vitalii Nov 4 at 23:11
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I was testing the theory today with a codec name error.

Indeed, aptX remained 100 %. Very similar to Bug with the name. I hope they correct in the future. Checked in Bluetooth Explorer. Ran using the check box in the SBC codec menu and aptX to check bitrate in one case or another.

It turned out when put in priority aptX the bitrate was exclusively 384 kb/s and it was not possible to change it by any software, which is possible only with this code. Then banned aptX and it turned out bitrate which is possible only in SBC 327 kb/s.

Plus it was possible to change bitpool, which immediately led to the fall of bitrate and sound quality.

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I had the exact same issue with a 13 inch model. Searching elsewhere, some people on r/headphones discussed what is better between AAC and aptX and seems to have agreed AAC is better. In that sense, I think I'm satisfied to listen to my PXs on AAC.

I didn't realize Catalina had this issue until I switched my PXs from my iPad to my Mac and heard a huge difference in the balance between frequencies (equalizers off on both devices), so checked in my Bluetooth menu and found it was also to AAC, like your situation. For what it's worth, I also ran sudo defaults write bluetoothaudiod "Enable AptX codec" -bool true and with "Enable AAC codec -bool false (and restarted my Bluetooth module). They had no impact – but I think does the same as your approach.

However, when I'm using my PXs, it's to focus on work, not music. If sound quality really bothers you and you prefer aptX, I hope there's another solution! Maybe this is just a beta build bug!

  • Looks like that discussion was about aptX, whereas the PX support aptX HD (which I've corrected in the OP now). I believe aptX HD is noticeable. I can't seem to find any info about this though and even the final release still has this issue :-( – SRG3006 Oct 8 at 17:26
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There is some information on Reddit claiming that enabling aptX does really give aptX despite the fact that it is shown as "AAC". Haven't tested this myself yet. Check this: https://www.reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/dh2hl4/aptx_support_in_macos_catalina_public_release/f59j81u/

UPDATE: Noticed a good sound quality, checked the Mac menu - it was still saying "SBC". However, when I checked my headphones they were blinking with white light which means AptX according to its manual (Avantree Audition Pro). This gives me hope that it's just a bug in UI.

UPD2: there is one more confirmation to this assumption, check this answer on Apple forum: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250719060?answerId=251583274022#251583274022

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For those still looking, it appears that aptX support has been silently removed from macOS Catalina (10.15); even in the public release.

  • 2
    Hi Ben, it would be best to support answers like this with a reference that can be followed through. This will ensure that if the answer changes, new readers can find the reference link and be sure to obtain any updates (if any). – Danijel-James W Oct 9 at 1:16
  • Yes, if you've got a source that would be excellent. I can't seem to find anything from Apple. I've searched release logs of the betas and all. – SRG3006 Oct 10 at 15:19
  • Related discussion: discussions.apple.com/thread/250719060, but no facts support was actually removed so far. – extempl Oct 21 at 12:37

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