Mar 4, 2021
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Imagine hearing music just as the artist intended. That’s Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound technology: designed to provide audiophile worthy 24-bit 96kHz music quality when listening to your favorite tunes on devices connected and optimized with Qualcomm Bluetooth audio and connectivity solutions.
Our customers, some of the world’s leading audio and mobile OEMs, are seeing strong demand for high resolution audio. Reflected in our most recent State of Play Report, consumer research shows that over 77 percent of respondents are interested in high resolution 24-bit 96kHz wireless sound quality. However, even with high-resolution streaming services like Amazon Music HD – who make huge catalogs of HD and Ultra HD content available so listeners can experience the music as intended by the artist – Bluetooth has always been the weakest link in the audio chain, having never been designed to deliver high quality. While there have been advancements in the breadth and capability of audio technologies (or ‘codecs’) that are used within the A2DP Bluetooth profile for music streaming, many wireless audio devices are still unable to deliver a true high-resolution audio experience – and listeners are missing out on hearing and feeling the fine details in their music.
During Qualcomm Technologies recent ‘The Science Behind the Sound’ virtual event we announced that we’re working with Amazon Music HD to create the Snapdragon Sound playlist – a brand-new, genre-spanning playlist of Ultra HD music designed to showcase the superior sound quality of Ultra HD music. The playlist features exciting new Amazon Original tracks from artists like St. Panther, Allie X, and You Me at Six, as well as additional Ultra HD music from Celeste, The Clash, Arlo Parks, and more. Check out this in-depth look at just some of these exciting tracks, and discover what to listen for so you can hear them just as the artist intended them to be heard.
St. Panther - Real Love Takes Time
The first thing that stands out about this track is how the lowest notes of the bassline hum, giving you the full tone of the instrument rather than the “thud” that’s typically heard on MP3 tracks. St. Panther gives us some interesting details to discover – like a chime that is sometimes allowed to ring freely, and other times muted right away. We get incredible presence and funkiness from St. Panther’s vocal line, especially when she stretches out the word “time” on the chorus. It’s hard to hear this track and not move your body to the music.
You Me at Six - Glasgow
One of the most striking features of this track is where the vocal is placed within the mix. Although the instrumentation is thick, the vocal has incredible presence, and it still feels intimate. The track has a great build throughout, and there is lots of "ear candy" to discover. The bells that mimic the electric guitar line are one example, and the vibrato on the high notes of the violin section is also beautiful to discover.
Celeste - Stop This Flame
This track begins with a very brief sample of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman", and while the piano vamp drives through the entire song, the jump between the sample to the new recording gives us a new texture. All of the percussion in this track is super tight, crisp, and snappy. The riding of the high hat is really beautiful and delicate. Celeste’s vocals also stand out on this track. Her range is impressive, and she almost squeezes her vowels to capture the quality she wants for the track.
Bill Withers - Ain’t No Sunshine
The quality of this track brings you incredibly close to Bill Withers voice, as if you are sitting in the same room where the track was recorded. You can hear a little bit of vocal fry on the lyric "I know I know", adding to the remorse of this song. It's not possible to buy a ticket to a Bill Withers show, but listening in this quality brings you incredibly close to the art that Bill Withers created in the studio.
With more than 70 million songs in High Definition, and over five million songs in the highest quality audio, or Ultra High Definition at a bit depth of 24 bits and a sample rate up to 192 kHz – as well as a growing catalog of 3D Audio – Amazon Music HD allows customers to hear all their favorite songs and albums with every bit of detail as their original recording.