Qualcomm is making it easier to single out devices that take advantage of the company’s many audio enhancements, by introducing Snapdragon Sound. It’s not a single piece of tech or innovation, but rather a stamp of approval given to smartphones, headphones, and wireless earbuds which include particular Qualcomm audio technologies.
To gain a Snapdragon Sound stamp, a device will require some of the following components inside, including a Snapdragon 8-series chipset, one of Qualcomm’s Bluetooth audio chipsets, Qualcomm’s active noise canceling (ANC) technology, AptX Voice and AptX Adaptive support, and to use both Qualcomm’s Aqstic codec and its Audio and Voice Communication Suite.
Rather than stuffing a device full of these and stopping there, Qualcomm will test all Snapdragon Sound products for both performance and compatibility, making sure the mark will actually mean something. Qualcomm’s intent is for Snapdragon Sound products to provide a high-quality, reliable, and consistent wireless audio experience, whether it’s for music, gaming, or calls.
Qualcomm has announced three partnerships related to Snapdragon Sound. The first two are examples of the companies we can expect to adopt the technology. Japanese audio experts Audio Technica will work with Qualcomm on Snapdragon Sound, where it will endeavor to further improve connectivity and latency using wireless audio. Xiaomi is next on the list, and will also look to solve quality, connection, and latency challenges by using Snapdragon Sound. Xiaomi doesn’t only make smartphones, it also produces headphones and smart speakers.
Finally, Qualcomm has worked with Amazon to create a Snapdragon Sound playlist on Amazon Music HD. The playlist features an Amazon Original song seemingly commissioned for the project, by singer and musician St. Panther, which it says will play in Ultra HD on Snapdragon Sound devices. However don’t expect to hear any benefits just yet, because we won’t see any Snapdragon Sound-approved products until later this year.
We will recognize Snapdragon Sound products containing the requisite Qualcomm technology, and that have passed the company’s tests, by a Snapdragon Sound badge on the packaging. Although it’ll be found on smartphones and headphones at first, Qualcomm intends to expand the Snapdragon Sound family to include computers, smart glasses, and even watches in the future.