Qualcomm S5 and S3 Gen 2 Sound Platforms Announced – 48ms low latency & third gen active noise cancelling

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During the Snapdragon Summit 2022, Qualcomm announced its latest Bluetooth audio platforms that will power premium headphones and TWS earbuds.

Optimized to work with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, these feature-rich, ultra-lower power platforms add new features to Snapdragon Sound, including spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking, improved lossless music streaming, and 48ms latency between phone and earbud for lag-free gaming.

Qualcomm S5 vs S3 Gen 2 Sound Platforms

Qualcomm doesn't highlight what the differences are between the S5 and S3. During my interviews, Mike Canevaro, explained that the to platforms are essentially the same in terms of tech specs, the S3 has all the same features as the S5. However, the S3 platform is more of an off-the-shelf solution, whereas the S5 is much more customisable, allowing OEMs to create advanced bespoke earbuds.

Spatial Audio with Dynamic Head-Tracking

Spatial audio is one of the new pieces of audio tech that companies are pushing. This is basically 3D audio and can be compatible with surround sound technologies such as Dolby Atmos. What Qualcomm have done differently here is that earbuds will have sensors built in that track the position of your head. When you move your head, the spatial audio will track with your head movement giving a more realistic surround sound positioning.

Lossless Audio

Qualcomm also highlighted that they are the only company that can do lossless audio from the device to the earbud. The aptX Adaptive codec will support bitrates up to 1.2Mbps, and they can provide bit-to-bit lossless audio.

Qualcomm Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation

The platforms also support third generation Qualcomm Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, which improves the listener experience by adapting to both in-ear fit and the user’s external environment. This Qualcomm Adaptive ANC also includes our Adaptive Transparency mode with automatic speech detection, to support smooth transitions between immersive noise cancelling and natural sounding leak-through when a listener needs to hear the world around them. For audio device developers, enhanced ANC technology helps solve commonly faced issues such as wind noise, howling and adverse events.

The Qualcomm S5 and S3 Gen 2 Sound Platforms are now sampling to customers with commercial products expected in 2 nd half of 2023.

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