Qualcomm announces Snapdragon Sound for better audio quality with wireless earbuds

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound text with brief description of the technology

Today, Qualcomm is introducing Snapdragon Sound, its new brand that you'll see on devices that are optimized for a great wireless audio experience. As the San Diego company pointed out, truly wireless earbuds are becoming more and more popular, and the human ear is very perceptive to the slightest issues with playback, such as latency. That's the problem that Snapdragon Sound aims to solve.

Snapdragon Sound combines a variety of components in the stack, starting with the Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform. On top of that, you'll need FastConnect 6900, and QCC514x, QCC515x, or QCC3056 Bluetooth Audio SoCs. It also includes Qualcomm ANC technology, AptX Adaptive, AptX Voice, Aqstic audio, and the Qualcomm Audio and Voice Communication Suite. Note that there aren't any current devices that support this.

Snapdragon Sound infographic

"The human ear is highly sensitive to glitches, latencies and other challenges which commonly occur when streaming music, video conferencing, or gaming over wireless connections. By focusing end-to-end, we are looking to deliver innovations to solve common consumer painpoints across virtually all audio interaction points," said James Chapman, vice president and general manager, Voice, Music and Wearables, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. "Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to provide tremendous value to customers with Snapdragon Sound and help them quickly commercialize products differentiated by great sound quality. Our system-level approach aggregates multiple technologies and the latest products from across our mobile and audio platform portfolios to achieve our vision of delivering highresolution, wired quality audio, wirelessly."

Qualcomm is promising double the kilohertz when listening to high-resolution music (96kHz) or for voice calls (32kHz) when compared with "Brand A", which is presumably Apple's iPhone and AirPods combo. It's also promising a 45% reduction in latency for audio synchronization at 89ms, which is impressive.

In short, audio is going to sound better, but it's not just that, because it's going to work better. Qualcomm also partnered up with Amazon, and it even has a Snapdragon Sound playlist on Amazon Music HD.

The company says that Snapdragon Sound is available to OEMs now, and devices are coming later this year.

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