July August 2016 Page 12 July 2016

Discovering aptX and loving it When I found out my Android phone was aptX equipped, I didn't pay much attention to the spec until I had the opportunity to upgrade the stereo in my 2004 Chevy Tahoe. I opted for a Kenwood Excelon CD receiver - among its impressive list of features was aptX compatibility. Backed by an aftermarket amp, component speakers, and a sub, I figured if there was a system that could put aptX to the test, this was it. Bluetooth compression usually yields swishy-sounding highs and swallowed-up lows. So, when I streamed music from Spotify using aptX, I was expecting a marginal improvement in sound quality at best. That's not what I got. Track after track, I heard full, hearty bass and crisp, clear highs - nearly the kind of sound quality I'd expect from a wired USB connection. When streaming from an Android device, aptX promises up to five times better sound than standard Bluetooth, and I was surprised to discover that's not just a stat - it amounts to actual, real- world enjoyment. Getting our advisors' take Like anyone who builds their system from the ground up, I'm a big fan of the sound in my Tahoe. In an effort to evaluate aptX objectively, I invited three of our advisors to join me for a listening test... K eep your eye out for a funny little word: aptX . It's the name of a specialty Bluetooth technology found in a variety of aftermarket car stereos and, most importantly, in more smartphones every year. With aptX, wirelessly streaming audio from your favorite music service on your compatible phone to your car stereo sounds better than ever. Superior streaming Does your phone have aptX? To use aptX, it must be built into both your car stereo and your Android smartphone. For a complete list of aptX phones, visit aptx.com/category/phones If you own an iPhone , many aptX compatible car receivers will also provide enhanced streaming quality for AAC files. BY WILL CRUTCHFIELD Kenwood Excelon DPX792BH CD receiver Big buttons and a good ol' fashioned volume knob make this 4" car stereo a pleasure to use. Plus, Kenwood packs in features with a focus on sound quality like a souped-up MOSFET amplifier, a 13-band EQ, an HD Radio tuner, and aptX compatibility. #113DPX792B $219.99 WITH BETTER BLUETOOTH 12 Get deeply discounted installation gear when you buy any car stereo. See crutchReld.com/carDIY

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