New Bluetooth chip brings premium features to cheaper wireless earbuds
What you need to know
- Qualcomm just announced the new QCC305x Bluetooth SoC series that will bring more powerful features to mid-range wireless earbuds.
- The first chip, the QCC3056, will feature Qualcomm's new Bluetooth LE Audio that will allow music sharing across devices.
- Other features include wake word activated voice assistants and Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation.
There was a time when having a great pair of wireless earbuds meant spending a fortune. While pricey options still exist, particularly when it comes to noise-canceling features, Qualcomm is hoping to expand open the floodgates by putting some of its best audio features in a new series of Bluetooth chips aimed at the next generation of lower-cost wireless earbuds.
The QCC3056 is the first of Qualcomm's new QCC305x series, coming with a number of features borrowed from the higher-tier 51xx series chips, as well as some new capabilities. Wireless earbuds equipped with this chip would be capable of features like wake word-activated voice assistants, Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, aptX Adaptive up to 96Khz audio resolution, aptX Voice, and dual-microphone Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression. But that's not all.
The new chip will also support Bluetooth LE Audio, which was announced earlier this year at CES 2020. We have a whole page to explain what you need to know about Bluetooth LE Audio if you'd like a deeper dive, but to put it simply, Bluetooth LE Audio will allow for better sound transmission at farther distances, as well as multi-stream audio sharing between multiple Bluetooth devices.
And because it's Low Energy, it should be able to do all of this without sacrificing battery life, which is always something to consider even with the best wireless earbuds. Low power consumption is also a big focus due to the fact that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) would like to see this technology expand to hearing-aids and other use-cases.
The new Snapdragon 888 will support the audio capabilities of the QCC305x chips, meaning it's simply a matter of when new wireless earbuds will launch with the new chip for users to start taking advantage of these new features.
Jabra Elite 85t
The Jabra Elite 85t wireless earbuds bring the same great features and design as the previous model, along with built-in active noise-canceling that will block out everything but the sound of your tunes.
- $199 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
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