Coming to Phones, Earbuds & More

Qualcomm has today announced Snapdragon Sound, a technology that promises to improve the audio quality of various devices including phones, wireless earbuds and headsets.

Although this is from Qualcomm and branded Snapdragon like its processors, the technology is not a chip – so what is Snapdragon Sound? Instead, it’s ‘an optimized chain of audio innovations and software’, which sounds a bit complicated but the firm has essentially improved how audio products ‘talk’ to each other.

The key benefits of Snapdragon Sound are the ability to handle up to 24-bit/96kHz high resolution audio, ultra-low latency, improved pairing and crystal-clear voice quality.

Back to low latency and Qualcomm says the Snapdragon Sound can support Bluetooth latencies as low as 89ms, which it says is 45% lower than a leading competitor. The firm also says it’s optimised for the lowers power consumption to help result in longer battery life.

“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,” said James Chapman, vice president and general manager of voice, music and wearables at Qualcomm.

“By focusing end-to-end, we are looking to deliver innovations to solve common consumer painpoints across virtually all audio interaction points,” he added.

While a lot of the benefits of Snapdragon Sound are for wireless situations, those listening on- device can enjoy up to 32-bit/384kHz formats thanks to Qualcomm Aqstic DAC.

Devices with Snapdragon Sound will come with a logo on the box and Qualcomm has confirmed Xiaomi and Audio-Technica as the first partners using the technology.

Devices supporting Snapdragon Sound are expected to be available later this year and will also expand to other categories such as PCs, smartwatches and XR glasses.

There’s also a Snapdragon Sound playlist on Amazon Music HD to showcase the Ultra High-Definition audio.

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