OnQ Blog

Qualcomm Aqstic sets a new standard for audiophiles

Jun 2, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

It’s relatively easy to detect good sounding audio from bad, but when you’re able to distinguish good from great, that high standard for audio puts you on another level—you’re probably an audiophile.

As such, you demand the best audio quality, meaning you want to hear every nuance from the crystal-clear highs to the smooth midrange vocals and deep solid bass. Achieving this pinnacle of audio quality requires more than a good ear, though. You need a powerful audio player to play back high-resolution music tracks. And this is where the shopping adventure begins.

There are many portable Hi-Fi audio devices available to consumers with prices ranging from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. But before you take out the wallet, here’s a question: Have you ever considered the device that you use every day—you know, your smartphone?

The HTC 10, powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor, features the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon powered smartphone with integrated Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec is engineered to deliver those sounds—no additional equipment (or dollars) needed. And there has been no shortage of smartphones featuring Qualcomm Aqstic, including the HTC 10 and Xiaomi Mi5, powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor (check out these awesome reviews).

The Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec has an integrated DAC (Digital-to-Analog) converter that supports up to 192-kHz/24-bit playback. This is a high-resolution standard that recording studios use to master tracks—it’s how you produce that pure listening experience that satisfies even the most sophisticated ears.

Many aspects contribute to the ideal audio experience. Once the analog signal is converted by the DAC, it still needs to be amplified for the headphone experience. The Aqstc audio codec is designed to deliver the amplification performance that is usually captured by impressive SNR and THD+N numbers. For audio geeks, SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) and THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion + N) are specs that determine the dynamic range and signal purity.

With the SNR at 115db on the Aqstic codec, you’re getting the best dynamic range—one where you can feel the dramatic change of volume and emotion of something as beautiful as Beethoven’s Third. Ultra-low THD+N at -105db means that the tone of the instruments and vocals you’re hearing is a faithful reproduction of the recording, and no additional noise or signal is needed to give it the most authentic sound reproduction.

The Aqstic audio codec also supports dual oscillators; the dual-clock design supports sampling frequencies 44.1kHz and 48kHz independently so your music files can be processed at native sampling rates without any conversion. 

The Aqstic smart PA (Power Amplifier) is another piece engineered to deliver even more oomph to your external speakers. Your music can be loud and crystal-clear thanks to the wide dynamic range and low noise floor on the smart PA. It also features Speaker Protection that protects your speakers from damage when pushing volumes levels beyond normal range.   

Maybe the most impressive part of the Aqstic solution is that it combines the best of both worlds in performance and power consumption. Every aspect of the Aqstic audio solution is highly integrated in the Snapdragon 820, engineered to provide Hi-Fi audio quality while maintaining great battery life. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon and Qualcomm Aqstic are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Jerry Chang

Senior Manager, Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies

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