Qualcomm has been introducing a slew of innovative improvements on existing technologies, and bringing active noise cancelling to Bluetooth audio via a new dedicated system on a chip is likely among the first of those improvements that the average consumer will be seeing bring massive change to an existing technology market. Qualcomm's new silicon is a derivative of their existing CSR8675 Bluetooth audio chip, but with active noise cancelling technology integrated right on the die, eliminating the need for it to be done in post-processing and opening up the potential for Bluetooth headphone manufacturers to bring consumers higher quality audio than ever seen before in the market at the lowest prices and in the most compact and creative designs yet.
For the uninitiated, CSR8675 is Qualcomm's current darling in the Bluetooth audio world, with wired audio capabilities on board as well. The chip boasts support for a huge variety of features, such as AptX, integrated power management, and easy integration with digital signal processors. The chipset's versatile nature means that it finds itself in a number of high-end audio devices, and with active noise cancelling now right on the chip, it will be finding its way into many more devices, and even bringing active noise cancelling to smaller form factors like earbuds and lightweight clip-on headphones.
The CSR8675's reference design boasts a 120Mhz 24-bit DSP embedded right into the chip, meaning that incredibly high quality audio is possible, with the right drivers and acoustics. Naturally, having active noise cancelling on board now only makes for an even better audio experience. One of the first customers for the new high-performance chipset is Fujikon, who will be redesigning an existing model of active noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones in their repertoire to integrate the new chip, eschewing dedicated silicon for active noise cancelling and increasing the audio quality over the existing model, which uses the base CSR8675 chip. The new chip stands to bring super high-end audio quality and features to lower price points, which means it has a very real chance of upending the Bluetooth headphone market when it finally drops. Unfortunately, Qualcomm did not state exactly when we can expect to start seeing devices featuring the new chip hit the streets.