Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Sound: hardware and software offer optimized audio experiences

Qualcomm is known for its processors powering the world's smartphones and with today's announcement it continues to improve end-user experiences, this time in way of audio performance. Launch customers include Xiaomi, Audio-Technica, and Amazon Music.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Image: Qualcomm

For years many of us used MP3 players for music, portable DVD players or tablets for video, and dedicated portable units for gaming. Today, the smartphone serves as the central computing device for music, video, gaming, and much more. Today, Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Sound, it's system-level approach that brings together various hardware elements and software to provide an enhanced audio experience to end users.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound brings together mobile platform processors, such as the Snapdragon 888, select Qualcomm headset and earbud chips, and Qualcomm audio and voice technologies. These audio and voice technologies include Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring, Active Noise Cancellation, aptX Adaptive Audio, aptX Voice Audio, and HDR/3D Audio Record.

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While audio performance for music is likely the first thing that may come to mind when hearing about Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound, this new initiative also provides enhanced audio for voice calls, gaming, and video. For voice calls, the sampling frequency provided by Snapdragon Sound is twice that of leading competitors to help provide crystal clear calls.

When looking at gaming and video playback, Snapdragon Sound provides a 45% reduction in latency for audio/video synchronization. As video resolution improves and gaming goes to the next level, in terms of graphics, having a seamless audio experience is important.

When it comes to music playback, Snapdragon Sound offers twice the sampling frequency, up to 96 kHz and 24-bit, while leading competitors offer 48 kHz. The system is also optimized to minimize dropouts and battery life.

We also see various phone and headset makers offering multiple connection options and Snapdragon Sound is designed to provide simple pairing and seamless multiple connection usage.

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Xiaomi was part of today's announcement with a statement that it will be the first mobile manufacturer to bring Snapdragon Sound to is phones. Audio-Technica will be supporting Snapdragon Sound in its headsets too. Amazon announced the Snapdragon Sound playlist with its Amazon Music HD service.

According to Qualcomm, devices supporting Snapdragon Sound are expected to be available later this year. As products are available, consumers will be able to look for the Snapdragon Sound badge on optimized devices to readily identify phones, earbuds and headphones and, in time, other devices like PCs, watches and XR glasses designed to deliver the full benefit of these advanced audio features.

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