Here are four features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to improve sound

by Kelvin
Here are four features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to improve sound

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 incorporates a host of new features that help improve sound processing, whether it’s just listening, recording, or even streaming.

Here are four features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to improve soundThat’s it, Qualcomm presented its new premium SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, alongside the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 and their new ARM chips for PC Windows. Among the many additions of its new mobile chip, Qualcomm presented three interesting features related to sound processing during its Tech Summit.

AptX Lossless

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 integrates aptX Lossless. What does it mean ? This means that if you have wireless headphones or compatible wireless headphones, you will be able to listen to CD-quality audio stream.

The arrival of this codec on Qualcom’s premium chip is therefore an important brick in its generalization.

Improved recording and broadcasting

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 also incorporates new features enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). Two of them caught our attention.

Audio streaming benefits from Bluetooth LE on Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Audio content streaming benefits from Bluetooth LE on Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. // Source: Frandroid

The first allows your smartphone to broadcast live audio content around you which can be accessed using a password. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s easy to imagine museums or events seizing it to offer audio content to listen to on a smartphone.

Another nice little addition is HDR audio capture. The idea is that the sound captured by the smartphone’s microphone will be better decoded to keep more details and thus provide richer sound. The file size should not suffer too much, count around 10% more storage compared to a classic audio file.

AI noise reduction

In the age of telecommuting, active noise reduction is becoming a bit of the sinews of war. The one offered by the new Snapdragon is very convincing.

It takes advantage of its Hexagon DSP which analyzes the live sound signal to isolate the sound from the voice. The advantage of going through AI is clear: the processing time is shorter and the voice compression less important.

Time reduction

Normally, the main problem with Bluetooth audio is very high latency, especially on Android. This prevents effectively playing a video game or even using a virtual instrument or a master keyboard with a Bluetooth headset on the ears. In fact, when you press the key on the keyboard, you only receive the sound in your ears after too long a time, which prevents you from playing at a correct tempo. It is for this reason that musicians will prefer to use wired headphones.

During the Tech Summit, however, we attended a pretty bluffing demo, which offered to play the keyboard on a smartphone equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 connected to Qualcom headphones. The latency between the two was considerably reduced, in the order of 50 ms. We are still far from the approximately 10 ms it would take to be really comfortable, but we are getting close.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take advantage of it right away. Indeed, Qualcomm explained to us that only devices certified by their Snapdragon Sound quality standard have this reduced latency. The problem isn’t so much finding a compatible phone, since anyone with a Snapdragon 888 or Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is, but a wireless headset or wireless headphones that would. Fortunately, aptX Low Latency, which relies on a 40ms delay, is a bit more popular.