What’s Snapdragon Sound, what does it provide and which units have it?

Key Takeaways

  • Snapdragon Sound presents a high-quality audio expertise for varied actions comparable to gaming, streaming music, and voice/video calls, making certain HD audio high quality and low latency.
  • The options of Snapdragon Sound embody Dynamic Spatial Audio for an immersive listening expertise, improved latency for lag-free gaming, lossless audio for an in depth and uninterrupted sound, and sturdy reference to minimal drop-outs.
  • To get the most recent Snapdragon Sound options, you will want a cellphone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform or a laptop computer with the Snapdragon X Elite platform, in addition to headphones, earbuds or audio system with the Snapdrgon S7 or S7 Professional platform.

Qualcomm may be greatest identified for its cell platforms that you will discover below the hoods of a number of smartphones, from Samsung and OnePlus to Oppo and Motorola, however inside these platforms – in addition to the corporate’s new PC platform too – there are a variety of applied sciences current.

A kind of is Snapdragon Sound, which has numerous options below its umbrella. That is every thing it is advisable to learn about Snapdragon Sound, together with what it’s, what it presents and which units have it.

What’s Snapdragon Sound?

Snapdragon Sound is a know-how developed by Qualcomm that’s designed to ship one of the best audio expertise, no matter you are doing. Whether or not that is gaming, streaming music, or making voice and video calls. It ensures a sure stage of HD audio high quality between suitable telephones and headphones with low latency and high-quality voice calls, too. Snapdragon Sound was first introduced firstly of 2021, out there on the Snapdragon 888 chipset. It then got here to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 cell platform, adopted by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform and extra lately, the Snapdragom 8 Gen 3 mobile platform that Qualcomm revealed at its Snapdragon Summit in October 2023. You will additionally discover it within the Snapdragon X Elite PC platform that was unveiled alongside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform.

In accordance with Qualcomm, Snapdragon Sound is “the one answer designed to ship lossless music, industry-leading low latencies, and by utilising Qualcomm Bluetooth Excessive Pace Hyperlink know-how, probably the most sturdy Bluetooth connections.” It is price mentioning that the Snapdragon S7 Professional sound platform that was introduced concurrently the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and the Snapdragon Elite X platforms, makes use of micro-power WiFi to increase the vary of audio units past what is obtainable by Bluetooth. This enables customers with a suitable pair of earbuds and headphones – with the S7 Professional chip inside them – the flexibility to stroll round a house, constructing or campus and additional away from the unique audio supply with out dropping high quality.

Snapdragon Sound is an end-to-end audio system, and it has numerous options constructed into it – extra on these in a minute – although with a purpose to profit from the options, each the cellphone or laptop computer and headphones or audio system want to make use of Qualcomm {hardware} inside.

What options does Snapdragon Sound provide?

Snapdragon Sound has numerous options inside it, as talked about. For 2022, Qualcomm introduced Dynamic Spatial Audio, improved latency and lossless audio, whereas for 2023, higher lively noise cancellation (ANC) was launched with the brand new Snapdragon Sound platforms, together with on-device AI and enhanced sound for gaming with spatial audio. With a purpose to expertise the Snapdragon Sound options, you’ll not solely have to have a cellphone working the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 cell platform if it is the 2022 options you have an interest in, however additionally, you will have to have a pair of headphones or a speaker with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 chipset or S5 chipset inside. In order for you the improved ANC, WiFi capabilities and higher on-device AI, you may want a cellphone working the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or a laptop computer working the Snapdragon X Elite, and you will additionally want a pair of headphones with the Snapdragon S7 or S7 Professional inside, particularly the latter if you need the flexibility to maneuver round your house out of Bluetooth vary and never expertise drop out.

In case you have the precise mixture of these units although, listed below are the options you may get with Snapdragon Sound and what they imply.

Dynamic Spatial Audio

Snapdragon Sound presents Dynamic Spatial Audio for each wired and wi-fi headphones and the concept is to ship a extra immersive expertise. It is what Apple presents by way of its AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro models, with Qualcomm bringing the know-how to Android right here.

When watching a movie or listening to music with Spatial Audio or Dolby Atmos, the sound stays locked to the place the gadget you might be utilizing it on is, even in case you flip your head left or proper, up or down. The know-how permits for a extra pure and encompassing listening expertise.

Qualcomm dongle

Improved latency

With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the units with the Snapdragon S3 or S5 chip, there’s improved latency for gaming on Snapdragon Sound, and this after all, additionally transfers to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Snapdragon X Elite and headphones or earbuds with the S7 or S7 Professional platforms too. This could imply that you will get lag-free gaming and a greater expertise total. Qualcomm lowered the latency to 48ms, which is kind of considerably decrease than the everyday 300ms you may discover on Bluetooth headphones. Once more although, you will want suitable headphones and a suitable smartphone to profit.

There’s one other component to this half nonetheless. Qualcomm additionally introduced an improved model of the S3 Gen 2 chip in June 2023, designed for use in adapters and dongles. It’s claimed to ship <20ms latency, which is nearer to what you’ll count on from a wired headset, which is normally round 5ms to 10ms. The thought is that you just plug the dongle with the S3 Gen 2 chip inside into your gadget – whether or not laptop, USB-C cellphone, TV – and you’ll expertise extremely low sub 20ms latencies from a wi-fi headset when gaming. The headset needs to be a Snapdragon Sound-approved headset with an S3 or S5 chip inside, or S7 or S7 Professional, and it additionally helps voice back-channel for in-game chat.

What is Snapdragon Sound, what does it offer and which devices have it? photo 4


Lossless Audio

One of many key options of Snapdragon Sound is aptX Lossless audio. Qualcomm introduced help for 16-bit 48Hz lossless audio with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform and S3 and S5 chips, which is a smidge higher than CD high quality, which is 44.1Hz. For units working the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, lossless is on the market at 44.1Hz, whereas these with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 provide 48Hz lossless by way of Bluetooth LE. The S7 and S7 Professional platforms provide help for 48Hz lossless audio too, whereas the S7 Professional presents help for as much as 96Hz lossless by way of Qualcomm’s XPAN Expertise that makes use of WiFi.

Lossless is designed to provide an equivalent copy of the monitor you are listening to, adapting primarily based in your surroundings by scaling again the bit fee with a purpose to proceed to ship an excellent audio expertise, with no drop-outs or glitches, quite than compress the monitor and lose element like Lossy audio does.

Strong Connection

Snapdragon Sound is alleged to be optimised to work throughout your units and ship a sturdy reference to minimal drop-outs or audio glitching, irrespective of the place you might be, even in busy environments when there may be plenty of interference from different units round you.

Snapdragon Sound 1


Lively Noise Cancellation

Lively Noise Cancellation is a characteristic of Snapdragon Sound and the S5 and S3 platforms from 2022 help it too, alongside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform. The Snapdragon S7 and S7 Professional platforms provide 4th era Adaptive ANC nonetheless. This comes from new platform {hardware} structure that helps low-

latency, multi-channel and low-power ANC. What meaning in actuality is headphones and earbuds with the S7 and S7 Professional platform is best lively noise cancellation total, and extra responsive too, robotically adapting primarily based on completely different variables. Transparency mode can be supported for the instances it is advisable to hear what is going on within the background. Remember the fact that you’ll not solely want a pair of headphones or earbuds with the S7 or S7 Professional platform, but additionally a cellphone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or a laptop computer with the Snapdragon X Elite to profit from the improved ANC.

Qualcomm XPAN Expertise

Qualcomm introduced a brand new know-how that works with Snapdragon Sound on the Snapdragon Summit 2023 referred to as XPAN Expertise, as talked about briefly above. It lets you hold your earbuds or headphones related, even when your cellphone is in one other room and even on one other flooring. You will want a pair of headphones or earbuds with the Snapdragon S7 Professional inside, together with a cellphone providing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 or a laptop computer with a Snapdragon X Elite platform, however when you’ve got a mixture of these, it is possible for you to to pay attention at extremely low energy over WiFi at as much as 96Hz, scaling as much as 24-bit 192kHz.

What is Snapdragon Sound, what does it offer and which devices have it? photo 5Which units have Snapdragon Sound and the way do you get it?

Qualcomm has numerous companions within the audio world, with many key gamers utilizing Qualcomm chipsets inside their headphones. These companions embody Bose, Sennheiser, Anker, Jabra and Nura. Bose introduced all its 2023 headphones would help Snapdragon Sound, which implies 48Hz lossless audio too – or 96Hz for any utilizing the S7 Professional platform.

There are presently over 120 merchandise out there that help Snapdragon Sound, which you will get a full listing of here. Not all of those provide the most recent Snapdragon Sound options although as for these, like we talked about, you will want a smartphone working the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform or a laptop computer working the Snapdragon X Elite, in addition to a pair of headphones or audio system working the S7 or S7 Professional chips.

The units supporting Snapdragon Sound characteristic a badge to point they’ve been examined and licensed by Qualcomm to ship the anticipated expertise.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound promises better audio quality between compatible phones and earphones photo 1
Qualcomm/ Pocket-lint

What concerning the Snapdragon Sound dongle?

Presently, there may be presently no dongle that can be purchased as a bodily product. Qualcomm hasn’t introduced once we would possibly see the primary dongle or adapter out there that options the improved S3 Gen 2 chip inside both, although the corporate has detailed the know-how to a few companions and Pocket-lint was informed in a briefing in June 2023 {that a} bodily dongle with the know-how would probably arrive “quickly”. We skilled a reference dongle in motion and there was little or no distinction between the Bluetooth headphones we used with the dongle and the wired SteelSeries headset that was used for an AB check.

Together with supporting <20ms latency, the S3 Gen 2 chipset additionally helps the most recent LE Audio Auracast broadcast capabilities for dongles and adapters, which might rework units comparable to TVs, telephones, laptops, PCs, consoles into premium broadcast platforms. For music listening, 24-bit 96kHz high-resolution Bluetooth streaming is supported utilizing Snapdragon Sound and Qualcomm aptX Adaptive audio know-how.

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