On November 17, the second day of Snapdragon Summit 2022, Qualcomm announced its “most advanced” audio platform to date: the second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms.
The initial S5 and S3 were unveiled at MWC 2022 in March, supporting dual Bluetooth modes, Snapdragon Sound, and improvements in latency and power consumption.
The second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms are even better, with custom optimisations for the recently released second-generation Snapdragon 8 mobile platform.
The second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms add a new DSP to the original single DSP processor, enabling the chips to have more arithmetic power and stronger AI performance to address more complex application scenarios.
One of the feature highlights of the second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms is support for spatial audio.
Based on the large computing power of the second generation Snapdragon 8 mobile platform, it has the ability to handle up to 24 audio channels. It can decode different types of audio content in different formats including Dolby, Sony, etc. on the cell phone.
The chip on the headset side dynamically tracks head movement, transmits the acquired motion information to the phone, and then spatialises and renders the content. Combined with Qualcomm aptX transmission technology, it can transmit back to the headset with extremely low latency, ultimately achieving realistic 3D surround space audio effects.
In addition, the second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms have further improved latency.
The latency of the entire link has been optimised for cell phone processing, Bluetooth transmission and headphone decoding, with the lowest latency of 48ms.
The second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms also support lossless audio playback.
Compared to its predecessor’s lossless audio playback on traditional Bluetooth, this time it adds lossless playback for LE Audio.
Also based on Qualcomm aptX technology, the second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms can achieve up to 1.3M audio transmission. With the addition of lossless encoder, it can greatly reduce the loss of audio information during transmission, presenting a brighter and more vivid listening experience.
The new Auracast broadcast audio feature from the Bluetooth SIG is also supported on the second generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms.
When listening to music on your cell phone every day, you can share the audio with your peers via Auracast Radio without taking off your headphones. In public places such as airports, meetings and train stations, you can listen to audio messages through Auracast Broadcast Audio.
Finally, the second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms are upgraded with active noise cancellation performance, supporting Qualcomm’s third-generation Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. The noise cancellation depth can be automatically adjusted by the in-ear fit and external environment.
Qualcomm’s adaptive active noise cancellation technology also enables an adaptive pass-through mode with automatic voice detection, which provides a smooth transition from immersive noise cancellation to natural pass-through when users need to listen to the sounds around them.
The enhanced active noise cancellation technology enables audio device developers to address common problems such as wind noise, whistling and unusual environmental events.
The second-generation Qualcomm S5 and S3 audio platforms are currently sampling to customers, with commercial products expected to be available in the second half of 2023.