Qualcomm has been working hard to solve issues related to sound and wireless audio streaming. In the company’s bid to improve standards for music and other sounds on electronic devices, it has launched its new brand: Snapdragon Sound.
Snapdragon Sound could raise the bar for makers of audio systems. The brand offers an audio suite and certification of audio systems that use Qualcomm technologies.
This article will explain the different ways that Snapdragon Sound could make music sound better.
What Is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound?
For Qualcomm, Snapdragon Sound is “a chain of audio innovations and software.”
Qualcomm Vice President of voice, music, and wearables, James Chapman, states that the goal is to deliver “high-resolution, wired quality audio, wirelessly.” Boxes of audio products and smartphones that support the chain will have the Snapdragon Sound badge on them.
Snapdragon Sound serves as an end-to-end software for devices that use Qualcomm chips. The end-to-end system enhances latency, improves audio compression, reduces dropped connections, and reduces glitches.
The technologies included in Snapdragon Sound include Snapdragon 8-series mobile platforms; QCC514x, QCC515x, and QCC3056 series Bluetooth Audio SoCs (System on Chips), Qualcomm’s ANC technology, aptX Adaptive codec, Aqstic audio codec, and smart speaker amplifier.
Thanks to the company’s cutting-edge processors, users of Snapdragon Sound certified headsets can use the latest Bluetooth protocols along with codecs like aptX Adaptive that allow for hi-fi music of up to 24-bit 96kHz. With aptX Voice, sound quality is dramatically improved when using Bluetooth accessories to make calls.
According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon Sound optimized devices will be tested for interoperability with Qualcomm Technologies. Tests will be carried out for different factors, all linking to how Snapdragon Sound will improve audio quality.
Who Will Use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound?
As more audio systems makers receive the Snapdragon Sound certification, more audio systems from big names like Bose, 1More, and Sennheiser may use more Qualcomm tech. This is great news for users who enjoy both Qualcomm products and those of other audio hardware manufacturers.
According to Qualcomm, music streaming platform, Amazon Music HD and hardware manufacturers like Audio-Technica and Xiaomi will be the first customers to use Snapdragon Sound technology, integrating the audio suite into future products. There are also plans to add Snapdragon Sound technology to other smart devices and personal computers.
Xiaomi is the first mobile phone manufacturer to bring Snapdragon Sound devices to the market. Not only will it produce phones with Snapdragon Sound, but also earbuds. The devices are set for launch in late 2021, though there is no specific date at the time of writing.
Qualcomm and Amazon music also announced a playlist for Snapdragon Sound devices with songs from Arlo Parks, The Clash, and Celeste. Snapdragon Sound device’s high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio is perfect for Amazon Music HD, which has up to 24-bit/192kHz resolutions.
How Does Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound Make Music Sound Better?
This all sounds very well and good, but how will Snapdragon Sound actually make music sound better?
Improved Audio Quality
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound combines different technologies known to produce quality audio output. Such technologies include Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring, Active Noise Cancellation, aptX Voice Audio, and HDR/3D Audio Record.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon sound uses several mobile platform processors and technologies such as Qualcomm headset and earbud chips, Qualcomm audio and voice technologies, and Snapdragon 888.
The SBC audio codec allows for standard Bluetooth audio quality Audio to be compressed. Sound quality of up to 16-bit 44.1kHz is possible with the Bluetooth A2DP music streaming, which uses the standard codec.
Snapdragon Sound offers a variety of voice features that are even better than narrowband voice and wideband voice. Qualcomm’s offering of super wideband voice presents a distinguishable difference in sound quality.
Narrowband voice provides for 8kHz sampled audio with 4kHZ frequency response, while wideband voice provides 16kHz sampled audio with 8kHz frequency response. The super wideband voice quality of 32kHz is achieved using aptX Voice.
Snapdragon Sound’s aptX Voice wideband 32kHz voice quality reduces background sound that would usually pose an issue when speaking on calls in noisy environments. This can also be beneficial when listening to music in noisy environments.
Stronger Connections for Devices
Not only do users of Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound benefit from better audio quality when they listen to music, but they also enjoy improved audio quality for voice calls, games, and video. For example, audio latency can be reduced to 89 milliseconds on a connection which can remain stable in busy wireless environments.
You may experience glitches in audio playback when you use your earbuds and earphones in busy places. This is sometimes caused by radiofrequency interference from other devices connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. With Snapdragon Sound devices, you can experience glitch-free audio, regardless of the number of other connected devices around you.
You’ll be able to swap connections between different Snapdragon Sound devices easily. The devices are designed to create new connections with different devices without interference. This ease of adaptability can come in handy in different scenarios, including switching between different voice assistants.
Qualcomm is committed to making long-lasting products. Qualcomm Aqstic technology makes it possible to play your music at a high volume without worrying about damaging the speakers and reducing the audio quality.
Most songs are recorded in high-resolution audio. Sound quality is lost when the audio format is downgraded from high-resolution audio to a compressed audio format, such as Mp3.
Different elements of a song, such as echoes and fades, are changed when it is downgraded. Qualcomm Aqstic technology solves this problem with its support for true audiophile formats of up to 384kHz/32-bit PCM, which allows for authentic reproduction of original audio.
Defining the Future of Music
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound is positioned to define the future of music with its new technologies and key partners. Not only has Qualcomm introduced a combination of technologies, but it has created a value chain of sound which adds to the efforts of itself and its partners as they create unique experiences for users of its devices and software.