Qualcomm unveiled its ‘QCC305x’ systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) for true wireless earbuds with options for several different tiers of buds. These new earbuds SoCs can provide more flexible and cost-sensitive options and bring many of Qualcomm’s premium audio technologies to the mid-tier QCC30xx series of SoCs.
On top of that, the new QCC305x will support the upcoming Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) audio standard, which means manufacturers to adopt the new SoCs early will still be able to support the new audio share features of LE Audio when it arrives.
According to Qualcomm, Bluetooth LE Audio is a new industry standard that extends the capabilities of Bluetooth Classic Audio with new features, such as broadcast audio for audio sharing.
“Not only do our QCC305x SoCs bring many of our latest-and-greatest audio features to our mid-range truly wireless earbud portfolio, they are also designed to be developer-ready for the upcoming Bluetooth LE Audio standard,” said James Chapman, VP and general manager of voice, music and wearables at Qualcomm.
The company notes that its 2020 ‘State of Play’ report indicated noise cancellation, hands-free voice calls and mobile video watching or gaming were among the most popular use cases for truly wireless earbuds. As such, Qualcomm says it designed the QCC305x to offer more robust connectivity, low-power optimization and integrate other rich features to support these popular use cases.
The QCC305x SoCs include audio sharing — sharing from one smartphone to multiple wireless listeners at the same time — with the upcoming Bluetooth LE Audio standard. There’s also support for voice service with always-on wake work activation to trigger a digital assistant. It also works with button activation.
Additionally, the QCC305x SoCs include Qualcomm’s Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation and Qualcomm aptX Adaptive for up to 96Khz audio resolution. Finally, there’s aptX Voice as well as cVc Echo Cancellation and Noise Suppression. all of which work to increase call and voice clarity.
Qualcomm says its new Snapdragon 888 SoC with Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 supports Bluetooth 5.2, LE Audio, aptX audio and more, all of which the new QCC305x can take advantage of. We’ll likely see other mobile chipsets from Qualcomm, such as the popular 700-series for mid-range devices, that support the QCC305x.
You can learn more about the new QCC305x SoCs here.
Update 12/16/2020 at 11:57am: Added a link to Qualcomm’s website.