Windows 10 is getting a big improvement to the Bluetooth audio experience

Windows 10 is getting a big improvement to the Bluetooth audio experience

Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21370 to the Dev channel. There’s not a whole lot that’s changed in the way of front-facing new features, but there are some changed coming to the Bluetooth audio experience.

From now on, Windows 10 is only going to show you one audio endpoint for your Bluetooth peripherals. Previously, you’d have a choice between something like “stereo” and “hands-free AG audio”, as seen in the image below. You’ll no longer have to fumble through those to figure out which one is the right one. Now, Windows 10 is going to act like any modern OS and just have one choice for your Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

Before and after image of Windows 10 audio settings

The other Bluetooth improvement is support for Advanced Audio Codec, or AAC. Like plenty of modern formats, it’s all about better quality in a smaller file size.

The Bluetooth improvements are all that Microsoft listed as key new features, but there are some smaller changes as well. The icons in the File Explorer address bar have been changed a bit, and there’s a new animation for the touch keyboard. The touch keyboard also now shows a backslash if you’re using the Run dialog.

Today’s build is from the co_release branch, although that still doesn’t make it tied to a specific release of Windows 10. Microsoft says that the Dev channel is for those that want to be in a perpetual state of prerelease builds. If you’re using it, that means that you want the latest features all the time. Naturally, you might end up sacrificing stability to get there.

At some point, the new features come off of the Dev channel train and land in the Beta channel. At that point, they’re officially tied to a feature release of Windows 10. The features currently in testing will likely show up in the 21H2 update, although that’s certain yet. Indeed, none of this will land in the Beta channel until Windows 10 version 21H1, or the May 2021 Update, is out the door.

If you want to check out today’s build, you can get it via Windows Update. If you’re not, you can enroll via the Windows Insider Program tab in Settings.

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Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.