Next-gen wireless earbuds will all have noise cancellation: You can thank Qualcomm
Amritanshu Mukherjee March 26, 2020
If you have ever used a earbud or headphone with active noise cancellation, it becomes quite difficult to use one that does not feature that. The issue with such earphones is that all of them are expensive to own and that makes them accessible to only those with deep pockets. Qualcomm does not want that to happen anymore and hence, it has come up with two new chips that bring Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) to more affordable wireless headphones.
Qualcomm has unveiled two new wireless chips that promise more reliable connections and hybrid ANC for earbuds. The Qualcomm QCC514x and QCC304x are the two chips that bring with them Qualcomm's new TrueWireless Mirroring technology. The name sounds confusing but the way it works is quite simple.
TrueWireless Mirroring: How it works
Wireless earbuds usually have two separate earbuds that need to be connected individually to the phone or computer. This makes the synchronisation more complex, thereby making the connection less reliable. The system has to work extra hard in ensuring both the earbuds play the same music at the same time.
The TrueWireless Mirroring technology treats one earbud as the main unit and uses only that to transfer data between it and the phone. It then syncs the data to the other earbud, which makes the connection more reliable. In case the main earbud is shut down, the connection will be seamlessly transferred to the other earbud.
Apart from this, the new chips also bring with them dedicated hardware of hybrid ANC. Qualcomm doesn't go into detail about how the technology works but it says that the hardware for the ANC comes built-in and hence, ANC will be available to earphones relying on these Qualcomm chips. Not only the earphones will be able to cancel ambient noise but they will also be able to let ambient sound pass through, similar to some expensive ANC headphones.
Lastly, these chips can also support voice assistants. Qualcomm differentiates the two chips here with the mode in which these voice assistants will work. The QCC514x will support wake-word activation, which means you can speak Hey Siri or Hey Google to activate the assistants. The QCC304x, on the other hand, will require physical activation of the assistants, i.e. by pressing a button.
Qualcomm also says that these chips are power efficient and one can expect all-day battery life from the headphone, even with the ANC switched on.
Qualcomm hasn't said when can we see headphones with these chips in the market but we can expect premium models from OnePlus, Samsung or even Sony utilise these for upcoming products.