Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound has been launched as a new suite of audio technologies for both smartphones and audio products such as wireless headphones and earphones. It was initially announced at the Qualcomm summit in December 2020. The product suite enables improved interoperability between Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset-enabled smartphones as well as wireless headphones and earphones, promising better connectivity, sound quality, and additional features such as active noise cancellation (ANC) and voice communication software. It requires both source device and output to support the technology.
Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound is expected to roll out for consumer products in the coming weeks, and will be supported on Snapdragon 888-powered smartphones set to launch this year. The product suite is marketed towards original equipment manufacturers, including smartphone and audio product makers. It is offered as a single solution for manufacturers covering the chipset, connectivity, ANC technology, and Bluetooth codec support, among other technologies.
When a compatible audio product is used with a supported source device such as a Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone, this will allow for the full suite of audio technologies to be activated, including the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec, ANC algorithms, Qualcomm FastConnect, and more.
The first manufacturers to work with Qualcomm for Snapdragon Sound include Xiaomi and Japanese headphone maker Audio-Technica, and the technology suite will be implemented on some of the companies’ upcoming products. For consumers, interoperability will be signified by a new pop-up logo that confirms that Snapdragon Sound technologies are in operation. Of course, it requires both the source device and the output device – wireless headphones, earphones, or even speakers – to support the technology.
Key technologies that are a part of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound suite include the Snapdragon 8-series chipset range, Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 that enables faster and more stable Bluetooth connectivity, various QCC series Bluetooth SoCs, Qualcomm Active Noise Cancelling technology, the aptX Adaptive codec for high-resolution audio transmission over Bluetooth, and the Qualcomm Aqstic DAC and amplifier package. Manufacturers can now license the entire suite from Qualcomm for their products. The company has also worked with Amazon Music HD to showcase and certify the listening experience, with the hope of promoting high-resolution music streaming to make better use of the technologies and benefits offered by Snapdragon Sound.
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