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Qualcomm launches S5 and S3 Gen 3 audio chipsets

By Liu Hongzuo - on 6 Apr 2024, 9:32am

Qualcomm launches S5 and S3 Gen 3 audio chipsets

Note: This article was first published on 26 March 2024.

Qualcomm S5 Gen 3 and S3 Gen 3 audio platforms are now available for manufacturers.

Qualcomm today (26 March 2024) announced the launch of its next-generation audio chipsets, the S5 Gen 3 and the S3 Gen 3.

Both audio chipsets follow up on their 2022 versions, which are designed for personal audio products like headphones, speakers, and earbuds. Like their predecessors, they work best when paired with Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets, since Qualcomm's mobile platforms can support most of, if not all the features offered on the S5 and S3 audio processors.

Summary of features for the Qualcomm S5 Gen 3 and Qualcomm S3 Gen 3.

The Qualcomm S3 Gen 3 is the mainstream option for audio products requiring a comprehensive slew of audio transmission perks. It supports up to 24-bit, 96kHz audio (the bitrate for Sony’s Hi-Res Audio), on top of a whole bunch of Bluetooth perks like Bluetooth LE, Auracast broadcast technology, and gaming mode (for low latency audio). As a Qualcomm product, it also comes with Snapdragon Sound optimisations. Despite its entry-level categorisation, it still has Qualcomm Adaptive ANC and microphone noise suppression.

A big selling point to manufacturers is that the S3 Gen 3 is part of Qualcomm's Voice & Music Extension Program. Manufacturers can opt to have their once-proprietary software features for their audio devices included on the Qualcomm S3 Gen 3 and appear in audio devices made by other manufacturers, and vice versa.

Going up a chipset tier is the Qualcomm S5 Gen 3, with its upgrades mainly within its AI processing capabilities. Qualcomm said it has three times the computing power and offers up to 50x “more AI power” on-device than its predecessor. Other upgrades include 2x more DSP (digital signal processing) power and 1.5x more memory. Its Hi-Fi grade stereo audio codec support, ANC, and Bluetooth 5.4 platform remain.

Image source: Qualcomm.

While it’s not clear when we would see audio products touting Qualcomm’s latest audio platforms, the official announcement also included a statement by Vivo that said the Chinese company was “excited to soon introduce the world’s first device powered by Qualcomm S3 Gen 3 Sound platform”. 

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