Qualcomm preparing for the rise of multi-use case earbuds

Qualcomm’s introduction of the S3 and S5 Gen 3 Sound Platforms marks a significant leap forward in the audio device sector, especially with regards to the development of multi-use case TWS headphones. The new additions to the snapdragon sound platform aim to meet rising consumer expectations for superior audio quality mixed with low latency for video streaming and gaming in modern headphones. The S5, designed for premium devices, introduces a new architecture that supports advanced features like Adaptive ANC, lossless music streaming, and AI-enhanced sound, the last of which has the potential to massively increase call quality. Meanwhile, the S3, which caters to the mid-tier market, offers flexibility for customization through support for third-party integrations, making high-quality sound and new, innovative features more accessible.

Thanks to improved power efficiency, the new chips could further increase battery life for smaller devices such as TWS earbuds, while also opening the doors for more advanced processing that could be traded in for the increased battery life.

The DATAportl team has been expecting the TWS market to slowly move to a more universal device that enabled multi-use case headphones for a few years now. This idea was only amplified by the announcement of LE audio and LC3 which can be seen as a universal codec enabling OEMs to create specialised headphones for every use case by finally addressing Bluetooth’s latency problems.

Following this announcement from Qualcomm, the DATAportl team expects the next few years to finally see the rise of these multi-use case earbuds, enabling consumers to use a single set of buds in the office for calls via teams or zoom, before using the same pair to listen to their music on their commute. They could then settle in at home and watch a movie or series, or even game on their tablet or phone with no noticeable latency.

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