Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound technology aims to refine wireless audio

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by: - Last updated on: March 4th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound pledges to bridge the gap and optimize interactions between its (Qualcomm’s) technology stacks to deliver seamless high-quality wireless audio.
  • Snapdragon Sound can provide up to 2x better music-listening experience, 2x clearer voice calls, and 45% lower latency for audio-video synchronization.
  • For OEMs and audio brands, Snapdragon Sound can reduce development time thanks to pre-certified solutions for various devices.
  • Xiaomi and Audio-Technica will be early adopters of the Snapdragon Sound technology.

Qualcomm Technologies, the leading semiconductors, and wireless services maker, announced today that its venturing into new audio innovations. Labeled as Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound, the technology includes what the company calls “an optimized chain of audio innovations and software” that aims to offer immersive and seamless audio across smartphones and wireless audio gear (headphones and earphones). As such, with Snapdragon Sound, Qualcomm promises to provide a superior audio experience for consumers when they stream music, game wirelessly, or communicate on call.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound

Generally speaking, there are numerous reasons that can cause disruption in audio quality and affect your audio experience. In this regard, it is mostly factors such as connectivity issues, latency, and poor audio compression, which can be attributed to bad audio. This is where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound pledges to bridge the gap and optimize interactions between its (Qualcomm’s) technology stacks. That way, it can manage to deliver seamless wireless audio with ultra-low latency, high-resolution (24-bit, 96kHz), improved pairing, and clear voice quality. Similarly, Qualcomm also claims that it can support Bluetooth latencies as low as 90 milliseconds to offer immersive gaming and a better video-watching experience.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound technology

Aside from wireless audio, Snapdragon Sound also incorporates Qualcomm Aqstic DAC — as seen on LG smartphones — to offer up to 384kHz of 32-bit PCM and DSD with ultra-low THD+N (total harmonic distortion plus noise) of wired audio listening experience.

Benefits of Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound

There are numerous benefits that the Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound technology can bring to consumers. These include:

  • 2x better music-listening experience with up to 96kHz sampled audio
  • 2x clearer voice calls
  • 45% lower latency for audio-video synchronization while gaming and watching videos
  • Robust connectivity that promises to minimize glitches and dropouts even in RD-busy surroundings
  • Dynamic adaption, which promises suggests seamless adapting in presence of interference or weak signal
  • Longer battery life even with ANC and always-on voice activation

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound benefits

In addition to consumers, the Snapdragon Sound technology also provides certain advantages to the OEMs and audio brands as well. Some of these include:

  • Reduced development time thanks to pre-certified solutions across different segments that speed up the manufacturing process
  • Ability to leverage product differentiation to tap into the Android ecosystem and target a range of devices while being in control of the entire audio vertical

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound key components

  • Snapdragon 8-series mobile platforms
  • FastConnect 6900 connectivity system
  • Bluetooth SoCs (QCC514x, QCC515x, and QCC3056)
  • Qualcomm ANC technology
  • Qualcomm aptX Adaptive
  • Qualcomm aptX Voice
  • Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and smart speaker amplifier
  • Qualcomm audio and video communication suite

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound key components

To showcase the audio quality of its Snapdragon Sound technology, Qualcomm, in collaboration with Amazon, put together an Amazon Music HD playlist. The playlist spans multiple genres and artists and includes an Amazon Original, which can be heard in Ultra-HD on Snapdragon-optimized devices. Amazon Music HD, in case you are unaware, is a service that allows customers to listen to their favorite tracks in HD and ultra-HD quality.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound: Availability

Xiaomi appears to be the first mobile manufacturer to bring Snapdragon Sound to its devices to offer a low-latency, high-quality audio experience across gaming, calling, and music-listening, with Audio-Technica coming in as the second customer for Qualcomm to incorporate the Snapdragon Sound technology on its range of audio products.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound customers

Talking about availability, Qualcomm says its Snapdragon Sound technology is available to OEMs starting today, and we can expect to see devices incorporating the same sometime later this year. Once available, these devices can be identified using the Snapdragon Sound badge on top.

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