Republic Wireless compatible phones with support for LDAC over Bluetooth?

Hello. I have a Moto G5S+. I recently acquired a set of Sony wh-1000xm3 noise-cancelling headphones with support for extended bluetooth codecs such as AptX-HD and Sony LDAC, which were introduced in Android 8.0. As I understand it, the Moto G5S+ supported all of these new codecs in Android 8.0 and they worked fine for many people, but unfortunately Lenovo removed all but the SBC and non-HD aptX codec support with the 8.1 update, and they remain absent in the G6 and G7 generation of phones. In every other regard, I’m satisfied with the G5S+.

What Republic Wireless compatible Android phones comparable in price (e.g.: <= $300) and features to the G5S+ also support the LDAC audio codec over Bluetooth?

This has nothing to do with Republic.

The phones manufacture decides if they wish to include such codecs.

As far as I know, only Google Pixel phones are the ones known to have the higher end BT codecs by default. The newer model LG and Samsung phones might.

There are no Sony branded phones that are compatible with Republic. (Sony phones in general are not that popular in the USA anyway)

Most budget phone models would not be likely to support the higher end codecs.

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Just to clarify, I’m not really looking for budget (e.g.: $99-200) phones, I’m looking more in the mid-tier section (ala the G5S+) at around $250-350 with at least 64GB of storage and ideally >= 4GB of RAM.

In theory, any phone that offers Android 8.0+ supports the LDAC BT codec unless the manufacturer has gone out of their way to disable it as Lenovo did with the Android 8.1 update to the G5S after initially supporting it in 8.0.

Not to split hairs, but it does have to do with Republic inasmuch as the phone needs to support the standards Republic Wireless requires, which you do go on to acknowledge that not all phones can.

I would suggest doing a google search for each model on the Compatible Phones list.
Redit or XDA posts may have users who have those model phones that can confirm if they support those codecs.

Like I said, I know for certain that the Pixel phones support it.
The Pixel 3a models, cheaper than the flagship model, I would think support them.

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Here is a screenshot from https://www.soundguys.com/ldac-ultimate-bluetooth-guide-20026/ that appears to provide quite a bit of info on LDAC

On most Audio centered forums…people debate and argue to death over audio codecs and what is “better” both technological and human perceived superiority. Audiophiles and audio purists hate pretty much any codec that is not lossless or does anything to the raw audio signal…and no one can agree to anything. (In fact, one audio forum I have been on, pretty much banned be on spot they saying that AAC is the most superior codec due to bla bla reasons and that I was an idiot and had no idea what I was talking about.)

Such things as sound quality is highly subjective.

Personally, I find LDAC to sound far better than AptX, AptX HD, and AAC with the equipment I have. However, for serious listening times, a good USB DAC is way better than any Bluetooth wireless sound, even on the same headphone if they have a wired mode. I use a Fiio E17K Aplen 2, and a Fiio BTR3.

Which is why we always have some LG phones in my family. We currently have both the G7 and V40 that contain the ESS Sabre Quad DAC.

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Did they remove the option to force BT codec via the system Developer options?

So, you can navigate to “Bluetooth Audio Codec” on the development menu and see all the options added in Android 8.0, but the only selections that seem to work are “Use System Selection (default),” “SBC,” “AAC,” “Qualcomm aptX audio” “Enable Optional Codecs” and “Disable Optional Codecs.” (The choices of “Qualcomm AptX HD audio” and “LDAC” are not honored when you select them, and even if you do, when you start playing, say, an DSD audio file in Sony Music Center, the dev menu will show that BT is streaming with AptX (or SBC, AAC, when selected) but never aptX HD nor LDAC under any circumstances.

I thought perhaps I was doing something wrong, but there’s discussion of this behavior on the Lenovo support forums, and moderators there confirm aptX HD and LDAC are now not available on most of their product line, including the G7 models. A few anguished users point out it worked just fine (or in a few cases still works) on non-updated phones running Android 8.0.

I pondered getting another phone such as the Google Pixel 3a XL or Samsung Galaxy S10 (or even one of the LGs), but decided to just pick up a Sony NW-A55 DAP instead; this Moto G5S is less than a year old and I’m generally satisfied with it aside from this deficiency (plus the Sony DAP has a 25-hour battery life, BT LDAC support, and a serviceable DAC onboard for wired IEMs or whatever, including USB-DAC functionality).

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