Windows 10 finally gets Bluetooth AAC audio support

Windows is arguably the most-used operating system in the world and yet there are things where it's still playing catch up with others, especially mobile platforms like Android and iOS. One area it has long been criticized for is the handling of Bluetooth audio, both the media itself as well as related accessories. It seems, however, that Microsoft is finally catching up in some regard with the next version of Windows 10 that will finally bring support for one popular audio codec as well as make Bluetooth audio accessories less of a pain to manage.

To be fair, Windows 10 naturally has support for more industry-standard audio codecs like the Bluetooth AptX but that's hardly the only one around. Over on the other side of the platform fence, Apple has embraced Advanced Audio Coding, perhaps better known as AAC, as a high-quality lossy codec for streaming audio wirelessly. Naturally, that has prompted other services and audio device makers to also support the codec, often at the expense of platforms that don't.

The latest Insider Preview for Windows 10, fortunately, brings hope to audiophiles. Just a small paragraph introduces support for the AAC codec when streaming over Bluetooth. Of course, the implications of that simple feature are a lot bigger as it opens up Windows 10 to more audio speakers and headphones.

The preview also reveals another much-needed update related to Bluetooth audio handling. In the next Windows 10 release, the platform will show multiple devices for the same device simply because they have different profiles. Depending on which profile is actually in use, it will only show a single entry per device.

These are small but important changes meant to improve the quality of life for Windows users. That's exactly the kind of polish that the next Windows 10 May 2021 update, version 21H1, is promised to bring. Big features, on the other hand, are expected later this year with what has been named the "Sun Valley" release, perhaps also in time for Windows 10X's debut.