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Maker of apt-X Algorithm Eyes Global Consumer Market

Sennheiser deal involves the first mass-manufactured consumer audio products featuring apt-X

APTX is calling attention to a launch by Sennheiser that incorporates its apt-X algorithm.

The company, based in Northern Ireland, provides its technology on an OEM basis to the maker of mics and headphones. It says Sennheiser’s high-end “Travel” line of wireless headphones with Bluetooth is the electronics industry’s first mass-market consumer products that incorporate apt-X codec technology; and it looks for more product announcements from both Sennheiser as well as mobile phone and laptop manufacturers.

The stereo headphones are designed for wireless audio use with Bluetooth-enabled media players like iPods, mobile phones and portable laptops. The line consists of the Travel PXC 310 BT model with active noise cancelling and an entry-level model, the Travel PX 210 BT. Sennheiser will start marketing these at a consumer show in Germany next month.

Broadcast equipment users know the algorithm, but APTX CEO Noel McKenna positions this news as a “major breakthrough” in developing consumer awareness of it. “Only apt-X delivers truly outstanding stereo sound quality when deployed in Bluetooth A2DP to stream stereo music and audio from mobile phones, laptops, and popular portable media players like iPod.”

The algorithm is designed to compress digital audio in a non-destructive way for transmission over narrowband radio channels or low-latency streaming over congested data networks.