Qualcomm S5 Gen 2 SoC to support spatial audio with dynamic head tracking

posted on Tuesday, 29th November 2022 by Steve May

Hi-fi  Dolby Atmos  Headphones 

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Qualcomm has announced the S5 Gen 2 sound platform at its annual Snapdragon Summit, said to be its most advanced Bluetooth iteration yet.

Designed to work with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform, it adds new features to Snapdragon Sound, including spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking, improved lossless music streaming, and 48ms latency between phone and earbuds, for lag-free mobile gaming.

There’s also support for third generation Qualcomm Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, which improves the listener experience by adapting to both in-ear fit and the external environment. Qualcomm Adaptive ANC also includes automatic speech detection.

The Gen 2 platform opens the door for SoCs optimised for speakers, lower cost earbuds and lossless audio support for stereo headsets.

“We were first to deliver Lossless audio over Bluetooth and since then, we’ve continued to innovate,” said James Chapman, VP and GM for Voice, Music & Wearables.

“We know from our 2022 State of Sound consumer research that more than half of consumers say they will be seeking out support for spatial audio on their next set of wireless earbuds. I’m excited to say we are bringing support for spatial audio with dynamic head-tracking to Snapdragon Sound technologies, lossless audio for the new Bluetooth LE Audio specification, and even lower latency on our latest platforms.”

According to the latest Qualcomm consumer research, there’s a clear consumer desire for higher quality products. 58 per cent of respondents were seeking either high-resolution or lossless audio quality, while more than half said the provision of spatial audio will influence their decision to buy True wireless earbuds. 41 per cent said they would be willing to spend more for the feature.

“Our State of Sound survey this year also highlighted growing consumer interest in Bluetooth LE Audio, with over a third of respondents interested in new user experiences like Auracast broadcast audio. We have worked closely with the Bluetooth SIG to ensure these new platforms are fully qualified to support this use case,” added Chapman.

Commercial products with Qualcomm S5 and S3 Gen 2 sound are expected to launch in the second half of 2023.

Picture top are Cambridge Audio's second generation Melomania 1 earbuds.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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