As at when Apple first announced that it would be removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from its phones, the global went crazy. After all, how could you possibly enjoy music decently without a cable? A few years on and any form of the earbud with a cable feels incredibly outdated. It nos not just the quality of sound that has improved, but the battery life, which many feared would not last long enough. The technology has seen essential improvements with many earbuds quickly continuing a full day of listening, with charging cases and fast charging technology, which means that you never really run out of power on these devices.
Qualcomm wants to tackle that last slight issues with wireless headphones, with a new chipset that promotes the Bluetooth connection to them and adds good noise cancellation for lower-end devices. The company has said (via The Verge) a pair of new Bluetooth chips constructed for wireless earbuds, the Qualcomm QCC514x and QCC304x SoCs. Both chipsets will help Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Mirroring technology for more strong connections, along with integrated, dedicated hardware for Qualcomm’s hybrid active noise elimination and onboard support for the digital assistant.
From Qualcomm, its TrueWireless Mirroring handles connections to a phone through a single headset, which is then mirrored to the other earbud, which reduces down on the amount of synchronization needed (in theory) for another reliable connection. If you take out the first headset, the system is designed to transition the relationship seamlessly over to the mirrored earbud as well. The system also helps to ensure that a pair of headphones show up as a single connection to a phone, rather than two separate headsets.
The new chipsets also feature “hybrid ANC,” which promises integrated noise-elimination technology while also enabling what the company describes as “leak-through” for external noise. Qualcomm further says that the new chips are more power-efficient, promising good battery life (even with noise-cancellation enabled). They are all features that the expensive headsets (like Apple AirPods) will already provide, but Qualcomm is hoping these chipsets will now allow all devices to have these newly invented feature.
As for the difference b/w the two new earbud chips, the more expensive QCC514x gives always listening wake-word activation for voice assistants. At the same time, the cheaper QCC304x will require the push of a button to enable this integration.
The wireless headset market is undoubtedly a congested one with many devices, not entirely living up to a good standard. Hopefully, we will enable this change with new chipsets created to level that playing field at least until the top brands bring even more features to the table. The company did not reveal when these chipsets will be releasing or how much they will set back manufacturers to use. Though with them being aimed at lower-end devices, you would expect the cost not to be too prohibitive.