Here's a simple primer on things you need to know before you decide on your next purchase.
- Power on the headphone by holding down the power button for 2-3 seconds until the power on button comes on. The headphone will automatically enter pairing mode with the flashing light alternating between blue and red colors.
- Launch the Bluetooth panel on your Windows PC as shown below:
- Select the option to Add Bluetooth or other device
- On the next screen, click on the first option for “Bluetooth”
- On the next screen, the system will automatically detect the available devices. Select the one called “Shenoy” that is displayed
- Click on the “Shenoy” icon displayed and on the next screen select the “Connect” button
- Once the device is connected, it will appear on the main Bluetooth screen as follows:
- Windows will also display a prompt on the bottom right of the screen as follows:
- In Microsoft Teams select the option for Device Settings. Select the device called “Shenoy Hands-Free AG Audio”. And you are all set to go
- If the headphone power is switched off (by holding the power button down for 2-3 seconds), and subsequently switched back on, it will automatically reconnect to your Windows laptop.
What is the difference between Hi-Fi, HD Audio, and Hi-Res Audio?
The term Hi-Fi is most commonly associated with audio perceived to be of "CD-quality." CD quality audio is music that is sampled at 16 bit, 44.1 Hkz
HD Audio refers to audio perceived to be of "higher" than CD-quality. HD quality audio is music that is sampled at 24 bit, 48 Khz
Hi-Res Audio refers to audio that is sampled at a much higher rate of 24 bit, 96 Khz or 24 bit, 192 Khz
The above numbers are just the specifications required for the DAC (Digital to Analog) convertor. To get the Hi-Res certification, the speaker is also required to be able to reproduce frequencies up to 40Khz. The normal frequency range of typical dynamic headphone speaker drivers is 20-20Khz.
So, to enjoy "true" Hi-Res audio, it is important that every component of the chain supports Hi-Res:
- The music source has to be played back in Hi-Res format
- The DAC should support Hi-Res
- The speaker should also support Hi-Res
The certification for "Hi-Res Audio" is awarded for qualifying products by the Japan Audio Society (JAS)
The Shenoy Audio SH010 in our product range is a high-quality wireless Hi-Fi headphone. By summer of 2022, we will be launching a higher-quality wireless HD Audio headphone. What about Hi-Res support? Well... read on to learn more.
What is Hi-Res "Wireless" Audio?
The 3 most common codecs supported by Bluetooth headphones are SBC (342kbps), AAC (320kbps) and aptX (384 kps) by Qualcomm. There won't be much, if any, audible difference between aptX at 384 and SBC at 342. For HD Audio at 24-bit audio, Qualcomm's aptX HD (576kbps) is available on the market.
Finally, Sony has a proprietary codec called the LDAC. LDAC compresses data streams down to a maximum of 990kbps. That bitrate then drops to 660kbps and again to 330kbps as Bluetooth connection quality diminishes. As of this time, LDAC and another codec called LHDC are the only certified Hi-Res Wireless Audio codecs in the market today and offers up to 1.5x the data throughput of Qualcomm’s aptX HD.
As indicated earlier, Shenoy Audio is looking to launch a new headphone in the summer of 2022 (the Shenoy Audio SH030) that will feature Qualcomm’s aptX HD and support 24-bit HD Audio. What are your plans for Hi-Res you might ask? Well, we are hopeful that in the future Qualcomm will introduce a codec that supports Hi-Res similar to LDAC. But even if it did, to support "true-wireless" we would need to change our speakers from the more traditional dynamic drivers with the range of 20-20Khz to audiophile range Planar drivers that would have the required support for 40Khz.
The certification for "Hi-Res Wireless Audio" is also awarded by the Japan Audio Society (JAS).
What is the difference between lossless vs lossy audio?
- Uncompressed files: These audio files are very large and include all the possible information that audio equipment can detect. Uncompressed file formats include WAV, AIFF and PCM.
- Compressed lossless files: These file types are compressed, but in a way that no information gets lost. They include FLAC, WMA and ALAC. These files are larger than compressed and smaller than uncompressed files.
- Compressed or lossy files: Generally, the smallest types of file formats, compressed files remove some information that is not entirely essential. Popular lossy audio file formats include MP3s and AAC. These are the things typically being streamed on Apple Music and Spotify
Can Bluetooth headphones stream lossless audio?
No. It is simply not possible! Even 990kbps offered by Sony's proprietary lossy LDAC codec is insufficient for the higher bitrates demanded by lossless CD-quality audio carriage: typically, 1411kbps. And lossless hi-res stream, therefore, would call for kbps in their thousands (example: 9216kbps). LDAC can’t get close. And neither can any other Bluetooth audio codecs mentioned earlier where maximum bit rates fall below LDAC’s 990kbps. Evolution of the Bluetooth protocol in the future could change that. So, let's wait and see. The future is exciting, and we could not be more excited!