Qualcomm announces next-gen Bluetooth chips for true wireless earbuds

Joanna Estrada
March 26, 2020

Qualcomm's next generation of Bluetooth chips aims to bring high-end features such as noise-cancellation, superior voice assistant integration and ultra-low power consumption to more affordable true wireless earbuds.

With Qualcomm TrueWireless Mirroring, one earbud is wirelessly connected to the phone via Bluetooth while the other bud mirrors the connected bud and is engineered to deliver a rapid swap under several scenarios. This allows the user to remove the connected 'bud and still continue listening without interruptions via the mirrored one.

Qualcomm adds that enabling ANC with the new chips will have a minimal impact on battery life, meaning that battery life is extended over the length of most worldwide flights (not that we're taking many flights at the moment!) or a full day in the office.

Qualcomm's new chips, however, offer "hybrid ANC", which means that noise cancellation tech is integrated, along with a "leak-through" function for outside noise-which is basically the transparency modes that many ANC headphones already have. This means that headphones using the new Qualcomm chips will allow external sounds to pass through the 'buds so users know what's happening around them.

The difference between the two chips lies predominantly in their voice assistant capabilities. The more premium QCC514X features always-on voice support, while the entry-level QCC304X has push-button voice activation. Now popular ANC earbuds are the Apple AirPods Pro, with 4.5 hours of battery life and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, which last up to 7 hours.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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