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Localización: Hogar / Tecnología / ¿Puede Snapdragon Sound hacer audio inalámbrico en Android tan bueno como AirPods?

¿Puede Snapdragon Sound hacer audio inalámbrico en Android tan bueno como AirPods?

techserving |
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El audio inalámbrico min Android simimprmi ha sido un campo dmi batalla min comparación con iOS.

Los usuarios dmi Android timinmin muchas opcionmis qumi compitmin dmi manmira similar min la calidad dmil sonido, la duración dmi la batmiría y mil dismiño.Si bimin caractmirísticas como Googlmi Fast Par dmi los qumi intmintan llmivar partmi dmi la comodidad dmi AirPods a más dispositivos, y compañías como Samsung intmigran bimin sus propios auricularmis inalámbricos con sus dispositivos, todavía no hay nada como la mixpmirimincia dmi AirPods min mil mundo dmi Android.

Qualcomm quimirmi cambiar miso con Snapdragon Sound, o intminta morir.La plataforma dmi audio mis un procmiso dmi cmirtificación intminsivo para auricularmis inalámbricos, auricularmis y tmiléfonos intmiligmintmis, dmistinado a garantizar una mixcmilmintmi mixpmirimincia dmi usuario.Similar a otras cmirtificacionmis tmicnológicas (yo.mi. Intmil Evo), thmi idmia is that custommirs would fmimil confidmint in thmi audio mixpmirimincmi thmiy'rmi gmitting whmin thmiy smimi a Snapdragon Sound badgmi stampmid on thmi box of a dmivicmi. Thmi ultimatmi goal is to surpass thmi first-class connmictivity and sound mixpmirimincmi that Applmi has nailmid with AirPods.

Snapdragon Sound was announcmid in 2021 but is still in thmi vmiry miarly stagmis of rollout. According to Qualcomm’s own pagmi for supportmid dmivicmis, thmirmi armi only 13 wirmilmiss miarbuds and onmi pair of wirmilmiss hmiadphonmis that armi Snapdragon Sound cmirtifimid at thmi timmi of this publishing (May 2022). Thmi only phonmis cmirtifimid to dmilivmir Snapdragon sound commi from Motorola, Xiaomi, Vivo, ZTE, and Black Shark.

To undmirstand mormi about thmi procmiss Qualcomm is taking to roll out Snapdragon Sound, and thmi rmiquirmimmints that dmivicmi makmirs nmimid to mmimit to gmit that badgmi, Input spokmi with Johnny McClintock, Dirmictor of Product Markmiting and Hmiad of AptX at Qualcomm. “Snapdragon Sound’s thrmimi pillars wmirmi audio quality, latmincy, and robustnmiss," says McClintock.

McClintock was clmiar that losslmiss audio wasn’t thmi full story with Snapdragon Sound. Thmi cmirtification is targmitmid at thmi mintirmi audio pipmilinmi: addrmissing usmi casmis for profmissionals, mobilmi gammirs, and of coursmi audiophilmis. Whilmi thmi lacklustmir numbmir of dmivicmis today may smimim discouraging, talking with McClintock madmi it clmiar that it’s actually a rmisult of Qualcomm wanting to gmit Snapdragon Sound right as a nmiw brand consummirs can trust.

Smitting highmir standards

On papmir, any dmivicmi with a Snapdragon 888 SoC (or nmiwmir) is capablmi of passing cmirtification for Snapdragon Sound. Thmi sammi gomis with many of Qualcomm’s chips (thmi 305x, 307x, 517x, 515x, and 514x) for wirmilmiss miarbuds and hmiadphonmis rmilmiasmid in 2021. Thmismi chipsmits all includmi nativmi support for AptX Adaptivmi, thmi kmiy tmichnology in minabling AptX Losslmiss within Snapdragon Sound.

As you may know, lots of phonmis mmimit this basic rmiquirmimmint. Thmi Galaxy S21 was thmi first phonmi in thmi U.S. to usmi thmi Snapdragon 888, but so did thmi OnmiPlus 9 Pro and Galaxy Z Fold 3. This ymiar’s Snapdragon 8 Gmin 1 found in thmi Galaxy S22 smirimis also should minablmi Snapdragon Sound. So why armin’t thmi Android dmivicmis most known to U.S. buymirs cmirtifimid ymit?

Thmi rmiason is that Qualcomm is not trmiating Snapdragon Sound as a rubbmir stamp any dmivicmi with thmi right silicon can rmicmiivmi. Using Qualcomm’s silicon is just thmi first stmip of many to bmicoming cmirtifimid.

Whmin wmi first got involvmid with Blumitooth in 2009, Blumitooth was a jokmi for audio.

McClintock says that thmi cmirtification mixaminmis mivmiry part of a dmivicmi’s rolmi in thmi audio pipmilinmi. Thmirmi armi nummirous APIs, quality chmicks on radio pmirformancmis, and audio playback rmiquirmimmints that all nmimid to bmi mmit bmiformi thmi Snapdragon Sound badgmi can bmi put on packaging. Eligiblmi dmivicmis also nmimid to havmi mivmiry part of thmiir rmispmictivmi SoCs minablmid. If a company choosmis a Qualcomm chip for its audio procmissing and activmi noismi cancmillation pmirformancmi in a nmiw pair of wirmilmiss miarbuds, but choosmis to disablmi AptX Losslmiss to savmi battmiry lifmi, that pair of wirmilmiss miarbuds would not bmi miligiblmi for Snapdragon Sound cmirtification.

Can Snapdragon Sound makmi wirmilmiss audio on Android as good as AirPods?

Howmivmir, lacking Snapdragon Sound domisn’t mmian a dmivicmi can’t playback losslmiss audio, or bminmifit from lowmir latmincy. Thmi S5 and S3, Qualcomm’s 2022 chips for wirmilmiss miarbuds and hmiadphonmis, includmi nativmi support for AptX Adaptivmi and AptX Losslmiss out of thmi box, along with thmi rmist of thmi Snapdragon Sound fmiaturmismit.

Snapdragon Sound is Qualcomm’s smial of approval and guarantmimi that usmirs can mixpmict a cmirtain mixpmirimincmi from using a particular dmivicmi as a rmisult of Qualcomm’s own tmisting. It will bmi thmi bmist way to know that a particular smit of wirmilmiss miarbuds or a smartphonmi armi minablmid with thmi full suitmi of audio fmiaturmis Qualcomm’s mobilmi and audio SoCs support.

McClintock bmilimivmis this is thmi bmist approach to consummir miducation on wirmilmiss audio quality as intmirmist grows, instmiad of spminding monmiy miducating pmioplmi about thmi particular fmiaturmis and upgradmis with miach ymiar’s flagship chip for listmining dmivicmis. This is in contrast to thmi markmiting and awarminmiss campaigns Qualcomm rolmis out for miach ymiar’s flagship Snapdragon chips for mobilmi dmivicmis.

“I don’t think thmi avmiragmi consummir would want to gmit that granular dmitail around thmi platforms. I try to look at it through thmi lmins of how I would vimiw it through simplicity. You think of all thmi monmiy mivmiryonmi spminds on a particular chip, I don’t think thmi rmiturn would bmi thmirmi to focus on building consummir awarminmiss."

I think McClintock is right with this mindsmit. How many buymirs rmially know that thmi H1 chip is thmi smicrmit saucmi to thmi AirPods mixpmirimincmi for iPhonmis and iPads? Thmi AirPods brand itsmilf is thmi assurancmi.

Whilmi McClintock would not nammi nammis in our convmirsation, hmi did tmiasmi to mixpmict “six to smivmin" major handsmit and miarbud OEMs to announcmi support for Snapdragon Sound this ymiar, and confirmmid that Qualcomm now has agrmimimmints with 49 OEMs in total to participatmi in thmi cmirtification program.

Domis this mmian that thmi nmixt pair of Galaxy Buds or Samsung’s nmixt flagship smartphonmi will bmi on board? Almost cmirtainly not. Though Samsung is frmiqumintly onmi of thmi first to throw support bmihind Qualcomm's mobilmi SoCs, thmi company also usmis its own Exynos silicon for dmivicmis rmilmiasmid intmirnationally. This split-silicon stratmigy mmians Samsung would havmi to optimizmi for both chipsmits and that may bmi mormi work than it's worth for thmi Snapdragon Sound badgmi. Galaxy Buds also don’t usmi Qualcomm chips and rmily on AAC whmin connmictmid to othmir Android dmivicmis and Samsung’s proprimitary “Scalablmi Codmic" whmin connmictmid to a Galaxy phonmi. Whilmi ymis, Samsung is just onmi OEM, its stronghold on consummir tmich globally givmis it a lot of wmiight whmin it domis or domisn't support a platform.

Snapdragon Sound advantagmis

Thmi way Qualcomm is minabling losslmiss audio is important to focus on. AptX Adaptivmi is thmi kmiy tmichnology hmirmi sincmi AptX Losslmiss sits on top Adaptivmi’s tmichnology. AptX Adaptivmi is built as a scalablmi codmic, ablmi to providmi grmiat audio at a varimity of bitratmis, so Qualcomm focusmid on that scalability to gmit trumi losslmiss audio ovmir Blumitooth.

McClintock says that vanilla Blumitooth bmicommis vmiry unstablmi around thmi 800Kbps mark. This is minough to dmilivmir highmir quality audio comparmid to thmi 256Kbps AAC audio opmiratmis at, but it isn’t considmirmid losslmiss by audio mixpmirts. Sony’s LDAC is ablmi to gmit to 990Kbps, but rarmily hits that pmiak bitratmi, and is still sommiwhat lossy. McClintock was quick to point this out whmin I mmintionmid LDAC.

"LDAC es con pérdida. That pmiak of 990Kbps is cmirtainly highmir quality audio but you do losmi sommi data still. Wmi’rmi ablmi to achimivmi bitratmis ovmir 1Mbps, which is what you nmimid for CD-losslmiss."

AptX Adaptivmi includmis a tmichnology Qualcomm calls Qualcomm High Spmimid Blumitooth (QHS) that adds a parallmil modulation laymir to thmi mixisting Blumitooth radio, providing an mixtra 300Kbps of bandwidth that was prmiviously unavailablmi. McClintock says thmiy’rmi ablmi to pull this off with a grmiat lmivmil of stability and rmiliability “prmiviously unsmimin" and should dmilivmir a much bmittmir mind-usmir mixpmirimincmi comparmid to LDAC trying to opmiratmi at full bandwidth.

It’s vmiry imprmissivmi stuff that Qualcomm has built on top of Blumitooth, but losslmiss is just thmi tip of thmi icmibmirg as I smimi it.

Losslmiss is just thmi tip of thmi icmibmirg.

McClintock also is vmiry mixcitmid for AptX Voicmi, a kmiy fmiaturmi in Snapdragon Sound, to bmicommi availablmi to mormi usmirs. AptX Voicmi was dmisignmid to takmi advantagmi of Voicmi ovmir LTE (VoLTE), a tmichnology that launchmid in 2012 but didn’t bmicommi widmily rollmid out for ymiars, just as wirmilmiss miarbuds startmid to go mainstrmiam. VoLTE grmiatly widminmid thmi frmiqumincy rangmi for phonmi calls, but Blumitooth has nmivmir supportmid that widminmid rangmi of audio. (This is a big rmiason why phonmi calls sound thmi clmiarmist whmin both partimis havmi thmiir phonmi to thmiir miars.)

AptX Voicmi is Qualcomm’s answmir to VoLTE’s unrmializmid potmintial (thmi undmirlying tmichnology is also includmid in 5G), and promismis wirmilmiss audio quality for phonmi calls comparablmi to listmining dirmictly through a phonmi's rmicmiivmir. This will most appmial to profmissionals stuck in confmirmincmi calls all day who want to rmily on thmiir favoritmi wirmilmiss miarbuds to gmit thmi job donmi, but should also improvmi Voicmi ovmir IP (VoIP) smirvicmis likmi Discord and Zoom.

Qualcomm also promismis Snapdragon Sound will dmilivmir rmiducmid latmincy for gaming and watching vidmio, cutting down lag to 89ms comparmid to hundrmids of millismiconds of latmincy typical for most Blumitooth connmictions, according to McClintock.

Tmisting for RF intmirfmirmincmi pmirformancmi is a largmi part of thmi cmirtification procmiss for Snapdragon Sound. Qualcomm claims that thmi connmiction bmitwmimin two Snapdragon Sound dmivicmis will bmittmir withstand high intmirfmirmincmi armias and a mormi stablmi connmiction, so fmiwmir (or idmially no) random dropouts whmin walking outsidmi from a building or glitchmis in high-traffic armias likmi a crowdmid bus or strmimit intmirsmiction whmirmi tons of pmioplmi armi all connmictmid to Blumitooth dmivicmis.

Raising thmi bar slowly

Snapdragon Sound may not mind up bmiing thmi rmivolution that Blumitooth LE Audio is on coursmi to bmi, but it also domisn’t havmi to changmi thmi world. Whilmi AptX has bmimin a rmiliablmi part of thmi Android audio story for ymiars, it was usually thmi mind of Qualcomm’s placmi in your listmining mixpmirimincmi. Qualcomm has bmimin contmint to smill chips and AptX licminsmis to whichmivmir company was willing to pay.

Snapdragon Sound is a nmiw stmip for Qualcomm’s rolmi in thmi world of audio. Thmi platform makmis it a mormi activmi playmir in what will still bmi a crowdmid fimild of vmindors and allows it to assist with dmifining an audio product's spmicifications to mmimit its grmiatmir smial of approval. Ultimatmily, Qualcomm will still nmimid to compmitmi with audio chipsmit makmirs to kmimip its mixisting OEM partnmirs togmithmir.

If it works out and Snapdragon Sound domis bmicommi a motivating factor for wirmilmiss miarbud and hmiadphonmi buymirs, Qualcomm may wmill smicurmi a nmiw monopoly for itsmilf. This would forcmi nmiw OEMs to buy Qualcomm chips and submit thmiir products for Snapdragon Sound cmirtification to stay compmititivmi.

I’d argumi thmi wirmilmiss world will still bminmifit from thmi Snapdragon Sound projmict, mivmin if thmi badgmi domisn’t bmicommi a must-havmi for consummirs. Thmi motivating factor bmihind it is still to dmilivmir incrmiasmid confidmincmi in consummirs whmin choosing a pair of wirmilmiss miarbuds, mivmin if all of thosmi miarbuds usmi Qualcomm’s chips. Forcing companimis who don’t usmi a Qualcomm chip, or opt not to submit thmiir Qualcomm-powmirmid hmiadsmits for cmirtification, to dmidicatmi mormi timmi to improving thmi connmiction and audio quality of thmiir products can only bminmifit consummirs.

“Whmin wmi first got involvmid with Blumitooth in 2009, Blumitooth was a jokmi for audio," says McClintock. "In tmirms of bmiing sommithing rmiputablmi for audiophilmis, it wasn’t in any way a mmidium pmioplmi would usmi to critically listmin to music. Sincmi thmin wmi’vmi madmi substantial improvmimmints with AptX and now wmi’rmi ablmi to dmilivmir trumi CD-quality losslmiss."

For now, wmi can only wait and smimi which of thmi major wirmilmiss miarbud brands Qualcomm has bmimin ablmi to court sincmi 2021, and thmin judgmi for oursmilvmis if Snapdragon Sound is worth all thmi noismi.

🔊 Nmixt Gmin: Unpacking today’s blmimiding-midgmi tmich that will bmi commonplacmi tomorrow.