Samsung's upcoming wireless speaker will use algorithms to digitally upscale audio

Samsung has announced that it will show off its proprietary audio upscaling technology (opens in new tab) next week at CES. Called Ultra-High Quality (UHQ) audio, Samsung's technology takes 8-bit to 24-bit audio signals and upscales them to 32-bit output on both wired and wireless connections.

Samsung says that in doing so, it is able to deliver "rich sound that brings each note to life with incredible clarity."

Samsung's UHQ audio tech is making its debut in the H7 Wireless Speaker, a hi-fi speaker with a sleek brushed metal finish. The speaker has two control knobs — one to adjust volume and the other to select playlists from your streaming service of choice.

Samsung MS750

Samsung will also reveal the MS750 Soundbar, which is the company's "first soundbar to embed subwoofer performance directly into the primary unit." The soundbar also supports UHQ audio. Rounding things off is the M9500 UHD Blu-ray Player, an HDR-enabled Blu-ray player that automatically optimizes video and audio according to the content source.

Along with UHQ audio, Samsung will undoubtedly showcase a slew of SUHD TVs at the trade show next week.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • You can't create data (which is what the upscaling would do) where data doesn't exist.
  • But you can make it look, sound, etc. better to humans, e.g. in antialiasing. I'm not saying that this Samsung thing is more than marketing though.
  • Agreed. If it's not there you can't fake it.
    So it will probably just be reverb and base boost, just like Beats lame tricks.
  • You are right, but you can always improve the algorithms used to recreate an analog signal from digital data.
  • It depends on context. If what you normally listen to is say music over Bluetooth headphones as a frame of reference, then using a UHQaudio source to UHQaudio headphones or earbuds, the resulting quality difference is dramatic, mostly because Bluetooth does not stream the best audio quality. As for a direct wired connection, you may get better results than UHQadio if starting with high grade source material through premium headphones or earbuds.
  • It sounds a bit like the "UHQ Upscaler" already available on Samsung smartphones. This feature works quite well, with a wired headset, as far as I'm concerned.
  • Complete non-sense. 32-bit is a placebo. Human ears can't hear a difference between 32-bit and 24-bit (or 16-bit for that matter). Upscaling won't magically bring back that data even if you could hear it. Depending on the processing you're probably actually degrading the sound quality. If you want good sound buy high quality components that accurately reproduce the existing audio as it was meant to sound, don't be fooled by gimmicks
  • Thank you for knowing your **** good sir.
  • Will this be compatible with the LG V20?
  • Why wouldn't it be?
  • BS marketing tactics like this need to be called out. Let me be the guy: Bitness in audio has nothing to do with fidelity. It determines the maximum dynamic range (difference between the quietest and loudest sounds) that can be expressed by a digital signal. For standard 16-bit, this is theoretically around 96 dB, which is far more than is ever used in practice. As for the benefits of higher bitness, lower bit output (e.g. 8-bit) is noisy as the S/N ratio is lower, so quantization noise (the accumulated error from converting an analog signal to digital) is clearly audible, whereas for higher bit output (e.g. the 16-bit standard), this noise is virtually undetectable unless you crank up the volume to unreasonable levels in silent sections of the recording (and it's likely the noise floor of the actual recording venue was higher than the quantization noise, anyway). The only reason 24-bit is used in recording studios is because multitracking (stacking multiple recordings) is common practice, and quantization noise stacks. Once you have your mixdown, the additional dynamic headroom of higher bit levels than the standard 16 is completely unnecessary. In any case, once a signal has been encoded in a set quality, the quality can only be lowered. An "upconverted" 32-bit reproduction of a standard 16-bit signal will simply faithfully reproduce the 16-bit level of dynamic range and quantization noise, as that's what's in the recording.
  • Try it first before you call BS. The caveat is you need a UHQaudio source(Samsung's newer phones) and endpoint - either UHQaudio speakers or headphones. Regardless of how Samsung is achieving this the end result is very noticeable compared to standard Bluetooth.
  • There could be all sorts of things going on outside of the upconversion that contribute to that, the most obvious of which being that if you're comparing hardware, it's already going to sound different before the backend even enters into it. A trick manufacturers often like to use is non-configurable DSP that purposely alters the tonal balance and other characteristics of the sound to make it seem like the hardware is making a difference (e.g. that B&O amp/DAC module available for the G5, Beats Audio, etc.). Even a simple increase in volume when the effect or technology advertised is active can be enough to make it sound like an improvement. None of this changes the fact that the marketing claim Samsung is making, that somehow upconverting the bitness of an audio signal will make it sound better (or indeed different at all), is disproved by even an elementary understanding of the principles involved. Whatever else the system may or may not be doing, that claim right there is BS, and it's a rather common one used by marketing departments, akin to the GHz race back in the Pentium 4 days. Consumers automatically think "bigger number = better", and marketing departments--particularly in the audio world where snake oil is a longstanding tradition--have been using this tactic for ages to sell stuff.
  • Sound so loud its explosive!
  • I've been using Samsung's Level Level U Pro earbuds for a couple months now. When combined with a device that also uses UHQaudio - in this case a Note 7, then an S7 Edge the results are outstanding and they sound better than any vanilla Bluetooth earbuds or headphones for that matter. Sorry Bose. This is good news however I would really like to see a Chrome Cast audio style device from Samsung using UHQaudio for connecting to stereos or good quality powered speakers. UHQaudio is not a gimmic. It works.