Today Qualcomm is announcing the new “Snapdragon Sound” branding initiative, essentially an umbrella term that covers the company’s various audio related hardware and software products, promising improved end-to-end interoperability for a better audio experience.

Qualcomm’s initiative is rather vague, but it appears to be to be focused on a certification program that ensures correctly engineered software stacks between a phone’s audio subsystem and the listening device. Qualcomm here particularly looks to focus on wireless audio technologies with greater audio fidelity, most of the technologies surrounding Qualcomm’s proprietary aptX codec and its derivatives. At least one concrete example of an optimised Snapdragon Sound system is Bluetooth audio latency, which would reach down to 89ms in the company’s example.

 

On the hardware side of things, mobile platforms obviously cover Qualcomm’s Aqstic audio codec chips as well as speaker amplifiers, but extends the umbrella out to the company’s Bluetooth audio SoCs which are popular amongst wireless headphone manufacturers.

It’s not clear if the end-to-end optimisations are solely limited to Qualcomm hardware products, or if third-party audio hardware solutions will also gain benefit of the optimised audio stack.

Qualcomm states that the first devices supporting Snapdragon Sound optimisations are expected to be available later this year.

 

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  • mode_13h - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    Sony took the approach of making free & easy for phones and other sources to support their headphones, but you still owe them a licensing fee if you want to build a headphone or wireless speaker that supports LDAC. Reply
  • mode_13h - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    In other words, it's free & easy to make products that interoperate with theirs, but not ones which compete with them. Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Also, aptX comes in several flavors (HD, LL, Adaptive, others) Reply
  • Silver5urfer - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Nothing that a 3.5mm can do, which is older than 150 years.

    This garbage cannot even make the bitrate higher than LDAC at 900Kbps which consumes battery fast. The AptXHD maxes at 500ish, for basic 320 we have AptX, and more royalty certification bullcrap for Qualcomm. More use and throw garbage products, every year you can buy them at $100-250, Apple pumped new $550 trash which doesn't even have AptX class audio quality. But hey it's Apple and H1 chip and etc bs. While a 3.5mm jack can process FLAC and DTS formats more than 1600Kbps to 5000Kbps data rate with zero performance impact or battery, or any Interference. Even in Mobiles, from low quality garbage to high end audio in LG phones.

    A headphone jack from LG phones have Impulse response filters, sound turning options, not even just playback but even Hi Fi recording in 24Bit FLAC at 192KHz and filters to proof from low bass frequencies, wind noise filters plus an SD card too. But who cares ? Mass market, lowest possible denominator is what that matters.

    Absolute junk is what that matters, which is why Beats audio and Bose generate so much money almost literally half of the Audio market in Mainstream consumer market. Esp in Wireless Apple pocketed 1/2 Dollar in 2016, now it might be 80% of a Dollar spent.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    I use LDAC at 900 kbps all day, every day, and still get > 1 day of charge out of my year-old Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones.

    As for headphone jack being equivalent, I like that I don't have to carry my phone with me, literally everywhere. It means I can go back to wearing shirts without pockets.
    Reply
  • ZolaIII - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    It's milion pluses for the hedaphone jack after I sow audio measurement for those. But thers something in between for me like tiny DAP that I can control from the phone over BT which have WiFi and BT and of course hedaphones plugged in. Guess what means no T-shirt without pockets for me. Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Another thing about wired headphones I don't miss is the cord getting snagged on door knobs, drawer handles, corners of counter tops, and pretty much everything else conceivable! Also, cord noise from it bumping and rubbing against my clothes. The only time I still use corded headphones is when I'm sitting at my desk (where I have a hi fi rig hooked up to my PC via toslink and play FLAC files).

    The stuff I listen to on my wireless headphones is either news or (compressed) streaming music. And I'm usually doing chores or meal prep, so I don't even care if it's not bit-perfect. The bigger quality issue is just the lower noise floor from noise cancelling, which also saves my hearing by letting me listen at lower levels.
    Reply
  • Silver5urfer - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Oh yeah, sure. Lol enjoying inferior trash audio is unfortunately not my cup of tea when the phone costs $1000+, I also have a HiFi DAC AMP with Stereo Monitors plus a pair of Senn cans but sadly I cannot take them everywhere when I'm moving so I have an LG phone with Hi Fi DAC and all my FLAC and DSD and DTS movies everything on the go with an IEM with Hybrid Drivers.

    Well I can also use the BT headset whenever I want. More power and more choice and no compromise. But to each their own, many pay for streaming inferior compressed music which is garbage tier for me.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    I stream music in order to find new stuff to buy.

    And I also have a LG phone with a Hi-fi Quad DAC. But I paid < $400 for it. You can save a lot of money, if you wait for deals near the end of a phone's product cycle.
    Reply
  • ZolaIII - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    He is referring to modern flagships this day's with out either hedaphone jack or deacent DAC. At least I understand it like that. There are flask alike Amp's and even USB dongles which can drive 300 Ohm can's but seriously leave hard to drive desktop gear where it belongs (at home). Reply

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