Skip to main content

Wireless earbuds are about to get even better for gaming

Two boys sitting on a couch playing a console game
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has announced two new audio platforms at MWC 2022 that will enhance wireless and true wireless earbuds, including offering better performance when gaming.

The Qualcomm S5 Sound Platform and S3 Sound Platform offer double the computing power of their predecessors, while reducing power consumption by 20% and latency by 25%.

The gaming mode feature reduces audio latency to 68ms, and enhances in-game voice chat.

They join the QCC3065x SoC (system on a chip) announced last year, meaning more options for headphones manufacturers. 

There's also support for Bluetooth 5.3, which again reduces power consumption. It means that future wireless buds which use either of these platforms will be able to last longer on a single charge, while delivering game audio which is in time with the action on-screen. 

Snapdragon Sound included

The platforms benefit from the Snapdragon Sound technology portfolio of features as well, which includes 16-bit lossless CD-quality audio, Qualcomm's third generation adaptive noise cancellation and high-resolution, 24-bit 96kHz audio support.

You can expect to see the first wireless earbuds to feature the S5 Sound Platform and S3 Sound Platform arrive in the second half of 2022.

Of all of these features, we're most excited to see wireless earbuds and headphones that can support truly lossless audio - that's a first for the industry, and it could transform the sound quality of Bluetooth earbuds. 

Qualcomm says the audio will be "mathematically bit-for-bit exact", which means you won't be losing any data over a wireless connection. Until now, the necessary bit rate to deliver this kind of high quality audio hasn't been available over Bluetooth.

In other words, you can expect a sound that closely replicates the quality that the musicians and engineers were working with in the studio at the time of recording. 

That may sound like something only hardcore audiophiles would care about, but lossless and hi-res audio has been growing in popularity over the last year, with major music streaming services like Apple Music and Amazon Music HD providing lossless streaming to their subscribers at no extra cost

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site. 

With contributions from