IFA kicked off today and Qualcomm took to the stage to announce its latest audio technology for wireless earbuds: Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation.
Adaptive ANC offers a solution for anyone who has ever lost their silicone ear tips, as well as those who struggle to identify which size is the right fit for their ears.
The true wireless feature allows your earbuds’ noise cancellation level to automatically change to better suit specific environmental conditions. For example, the ANC level can switch from shutting out a large amount of your surrounding noise when you’re listening to music on a crowded street to deliberately letting some noise in on a call, allowing you to better hear your voice during a phone conversation or conference call.
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Adaptive ANC is capable of cancelling out a wide range of noises, from disruptive plane engines to more subtle everyday office sounds.
Currently, the way you experience noise cancellation can vary a lot depending on how snugly your ear tips fit. Adaptive ANC is designed to make listening to music out of the box easier than ever by reducing the reliance noise cancelling earbuds have on getting a tight and, at times, uncomfortable seal.
The feature can even help to improve performance in situations where the fit is constantly shifting, such as when running or exercising.
Qualcomm also revealed the research that brought it to develop Adaptive ANC. According to the company’s annual State of Play report, noise cancellation is more valued than ever, with 71% of users interested in seeing the feature when shopping for wireless earbuds.
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“Our 2020 State of Play report found that consumer demand for active noise cancellation has
increased year on year and it is now the fourth most wanted feature for earbuds. This makes it a key differentiator for manufacturers”, said Qualcomm’s VP and general manager of Voice, Music & Wearables James Chapman.
“However, it can sometimes be difficult for OEMs to deliver consistent ANC performance because earbuds will not always have the same fit or be placed in the ear in the same way, and both how and where a consumer uses these devices can vary greatly. We have designed our Adaptive ANC to help customers deliver consistent performance levels and great sound for the largest possible number of consumers”.
With some users venturing back onto public transport and noisy offices and many continuing to work from home surrounded by family, the demand for effective ANC doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Adaptive ANC is available on Qualcomm’s latest flagship audio SoC, the QCC514x, from today. The chipset also includes support for voice assistants, premium wireless audio quality and extended battery life.