Qualcomm has always been known as one of the top manufacturers of mobile processors and chipsets used by millions of smartphones and other mobile devices. The Snapdragon is its most popular line but not many people the company also makes audio chipsets for earphones. The latest to be introduced in the market are two new Bluetooth chipsets for upcoming earbuds–the Qualcomm QCC514x and Qualcomm QCC304x. These chipsets are ready for future Bluetooth-connected earphones, earbuds, headphones, headsets, or whatever you want to call them.
The new chipsets though are mainly for wireless earbuds that could rival Apple’s AirPods Pro. At the moment, we have no knowledge which OEMs will use them but we can expect Bang and Olufsen (B&) and Sony to take advantage of them.
The chipsets offer integration with the Google Assistant or Alexa. They are also aimed to help deliver devices the public could use and wear in their ears even when not listening to music actively. This is according to James Chapman, Qualcomm’s VP and GM of Voice, Music, and Wearables. As described, the audio SoCs allow accessing smart assistant technologies, using ANC, low-power support for music playback, Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring, and aptX Adaptive audio support.
Qualcomm’s ANC (Active Noise Cancelation) features the ability to switch between a companion app without any problem. The QCC514x delivers 10 microseconds latency for a more natural blending of sound in ambient noise. It brings dual DSPs, wake-word voice assistant activation, and new power management.
The lower-specced QCC304x chipset is mainly for low- or mid-range wireless earbuds. It’s not programmable but configurable because it only uses a single DSP core. Only the manufacturers can adjust the DSP settings.
Qualcomm will start shipping the new SoCs to manufacturers beginning April. This means new products with QCC514x or QCC304x will be available soon. Let’s wait and see for those new and more powerful wireless earbuds.