Qualcomm has released a new SoC (System on a Chip), which includes the ability to stream via Bluetooth in 24/96 sound quality.
Qualcomm currently has aptX and aptX HD in the range in terms of supported hi-res sound protocols for Bluetooth. They are both limited to a quality of 24 bit / 48 kHz. Now there is Snapdragon Sound, which extends the maximum achievable quality to 24 bit / 96 kHz.
It should be noted that the “bare” speed of Bluetooth is not sufficient to transmit such speeds completely uncompressed (BT 5 supports speeds up to 2 Mbits/second. 24 bit / 96 kHz needs 4,6 Mbit/s. Also aptX and aptX HD need more than the bare speeds of BT). In short: a form of compression is also used with Snapdragon Sound, to be precise the aptX Adaptive codec.
DAC with DSD
The first products compatible with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Sound protocol are expected in the second half of the year. Apart from the Bluetooth codec, the Snapdragon Sound umbrella also includes the Qualcomm Aqstic DAC built into the sound SoC with up to 32 bit / 384 kHz resolution and support for DSD. First to appear will be smartphones and headphones that support the new technology, followed by PCs, smart watches and XR glasses.
The Snapdragon Sound audio SoCs are available immediately for manufacturers and developers, so good news for anyone who wants to enjoy hi-res music in all its forms on the go.