Samsung and Qualcomm unveil new chips to make true wireless earbuds better
Truly wireless earbuds have become one of the most popular electronics to buy since many OEMs have removed the headphone jacks from their flagship smartphones. Two of the biggest ongoing concerns over true wireless earbuds are audio quality and battery life. Thankfully, manufacturers are quick to improve their technologies for truly wireless earbuds, so they already offer much better audio quality and longer-lasting battery life than they did a few years ago. Samsung and Qualcomm are two of the biggest companies involved in making components for TWS earbuds, and both have just announced new chips for improving longevity and audio quality.
Samsung’s MUA01 and MUB01 PMICs
The first announcement comes from the Korean manufacturer. Samsung is detailing a new Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) which is already present in the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ wireless earbuds. The MUA01 and MUB01 PMICs, which are respectively for the charging case and the earbuds itself, are intended to make True Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices last longer. The press release mentions that Samsung was able to put up to ten different components together into a single PMIC, cutting the size down to half compared to its earlier alternatives. The smaller size of the units leaves more room for the battery, which translates into better battery life. Both of the units come with a microcontroller unit and embedded flash storage, which makes updating and/or modifying their firmware easier. MUA01, the PMIC for the charging case, includes support for both wired and wireless charging (under the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi 1.2.4 standard).
Qualcomm’s QCC514X and QCC304X Bluetooth SoCs
As for Qualcomm, they’re unveiling new Bluetooth system-on-chips for truly wireless earbuds. QCC514X and QCC304X are the newest SoCs from the company for premium and entry-level TWS devices, respectively. Both of them come with Voice Assistant support and Qualcomm’s Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation (Hybrid ANC) on the hardware level. The latter allows for low-latency leak-through, meaning that you’ll be able to take advantage of noise cancellation in airplanes as well as when you’re just walking down the street. Qualcomm also promises “premium wireless sound and voice quality.” In addition, the two SoCs support Qualcomm’s new TrueWireless Mirroring technology. According to the press release, with this technology, “one earbud is wirelessly connected to the phone via Bluetooth while the other bud mirrors the connected bud and is engineered to deliver a rapid swap under several scenarios.” The premium QCC514X supports always-on voice activation to trigger the digital assistant, while the entry-level QCC304X only supports push-to-talk.