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Qualcomm’s new headphone chip will make wireless headphones better than ever

The new chip has been designed to reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent.

Qualcomm earbuds
Image: Digital Trends

On Friday, Qualcomm announced its newest headphone chip, the QCC3026. The flash-programmable Bluetooth Audio System-on-Chip (SoC) offers some features intended to push wireless headphones to a whole new level.

The new chip has been designed to reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent. This change should put the battery life of fully wireless in-ears more in line with those of banded wireless products. For those on the go, this is a must, as the five hours (max) of current fully wireless buds just simply isn’t enough.

Also, Qualcomm plans on offering the chip at much lower prices than its predecessors which is a good sign of bringing prices down on expensive wireless options.

As Qualcomm’s Anthony Murray explains,

Consumers are eager for earbuds they can use all day, when they are at home, in the office or out and about without constantly needing to recharge. This latest addition to our portfolio is a very robust and cost-effective true wireless solution that is optimized for both superior sound quality and pricing value, and will allow our customers to put this exciting technology in the reach of millions of more buyers.

The QCC3026 will also offer manufacturers dedicated components for active noise cancellation and hearing augmentation. In other words, augmented reality applications will be much more realistic without considerable sacrifices to listening time.

According to Qualcomm:

The QCC3026 is particularly well-suited for phone manufacturers, who, with the removal of the standard headphone jack from their designs, left consumers desiring a non-wired solution to listen to their music. With this new design, phone OEMs can provide quality sounding earbuds at a cost point that allows them to package them in the box with, or alongside, their latest smartphones providing an overall more compelling offer to consumers.

Reference designs based on the QCC3026 SoC are expected to be available in the second half of this year from several ODMs to help manufacturers commercialize entry-level and mid-tier wireless headsets quickly and cost-effectively. Stay tuned.

Does the QCC3026 sound like it could change wireless in-ears for the better? 

Interested in headphones now? Check out some of our recent reviews:

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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