Audio sounds one way or another because of the codecs that are being used. Codecs are always being improved as are audio devices. For some devices, you need to install a codec on your system but for others, there are generally built-in audio codecs that let you use a device without having to install anything. Bluetooth audio devices are growing in popularity and the default codec A2DP isn’t built specifically for it. The Bluetooth aptX codec on the other hand, is made specifically for Bluetooth headphones. If you have a Dell system, you need to install a codec to enable Bluetooth aptX support.
If you do not have any Bluetooth audio devices that you use with your Dell system, you do not need to install this codec. It will not add anything to your in-line or wired audio devices. You should already have Bluetooth set up on your system.
Enable Bluetooth aptX Support
You need to download the codec from Dell’s official website. Download the driver file named Intel 8260 Bluetooth Audio Application (WBS/APTX). Run the EXE, and click the Install option when you see it. For good measure, restart your system. Once you restart it, turn Bluetooth off, and then turn it back on again. Next connect to your Bluetooth headphones. You will see a toast notification telling you that you’re now using aptX.
If you open playback devices, and select the properties for a Bluetooth device, you will see a Custom tab. This is where you can enable and disable the codec on the fly without having uninstall and reinstall it.
Other System Manufacturers
Windows 10 supports this new codec however, it relies on Intel to release drivers for it that users can install. It seems Intel and HP don’t have anything like that at the moment however, users are reporting that the Dell versions work just fine. Assuming you already have Bluetooth set up on your device and everything, you need only install the driver.
To install it, run the EXE but instead of the Install button, you have to click the Extract button. This will extract a file named “Intel Bluetooth Audio.msi” that you need to run.
You can try this on other laptops and it might work to enable Bluetooth aptX support.
Once you’re using it, you will notice an obvious difference in sound quality in most apps. During tests, we found sound quality from the Netflix app, and YouTube on Chrome was better and much closer to what you get from a wired head phone.