PulseAudio 15.0 Released with Support for LDAC and AptX Codecs

Pulseaudio 15

The PulseAudio team announced the release of the PulseAudio 15.0 with many new features. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new and enhanced.

PulseAudio was initially released in 2004, and it’s now included and enabled by default on all major Linux distributions out there. It is a sound server acting as a proxy and router between hardware device drivers and applications on single or multiple hosts.

PulseAudio manages all audio applications, local and network streams, devices, filters, and audio I/O. It provides an abstraction layer that combines all this stuff together in one place.

What’s News in PulseAudio 15

The new version add supports for the LDAC and AptX codecs for A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). If you not familiar, Bluetooth A2DP enables transmission and reception of high-quality music contents. In order to use the LDAC and AptX codecs, the device has to support the codecs too.

Native support for HFP AG role has been added. The native backend has become the default backend for HSP/HFP. The native backend currently only implements the HFP AG role, but not the HFP HS role, therefore ofono is still required for this role. Additionally, support for mSBC has been implemented to improve voice quality.

AVRCP Absolute Volume allows PulseAudio to control the volume of the connected A2DP device. Previously when playing to e.g. a headset, PulseAudio did its own volume control in software, and the headset did its own volume in hardware. Having two levels of volumes sometimes made it difficult to get high enough volume. Now there’s only one level of volume control in PulseAudio 15.0.

The code that loads the ALSA path configuration files now checks if the files exist in the directories specified with the XDG_DATA_HOME or XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variables. This is useful when it’s necessary to customize the path configuration files.

PulseAudio 15.0 introduces improved hardware support for:

  • SteelSeries Arctis 9
  • HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2
  • Behringer U-Phoria UMC22
  • OnePlus Type-C Bullets
  • Sennheiser GSX 1000/1200 PRO

For more information about all changes in PulseAudio 15.0, you can refer to the official announcement.

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