Qualcomm makes poor-fitting wireless buds less of a pain with Adaptive ANC
Achieving a good fit for your true wireless earphones can mean the difference between a mediocre listening experience and a pleasurable one, a point that was driven home to us when we reviewed Cambridge Audio's Melomania buds.
But if you've splashed out for ear candy with active noise cancellation, ensuring a tight seal becomes vital. Unless that ANC system can adapt its delivery to ensure solid performance no matter the fit. That's essentially what Qualcomm is promising with its Adaptive ANC.
"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," said Qualcomm's James Chapman. "We have designed our Qualcomm Adaptive ANC to help customers deliver consistent performance levels and great sound for the largest possible number of consumers."
As well as improving wearer comfort by reducing the need to forcefully push and twist the buds into the ear canals to ensure a tight seal, which can be – quite literally – a pain, the company says that its dynamic real-time noise cancellation will help deal with unwanted background noise consistently whether listening to music, taking calls, chatting to a digital assistant and so on.
Though isolating the listener from unwanted outside noise is the main job of ANC, Qualcomm notes that some listeners can feel closed in during long-haul sessions, and there are times when users would benefit from some external sounds filtering through – such as when out for a run or walking through traffic.
So the Adaptive ANC technology has natural leak-through capabilities cooked in, meaning that "certain sounds from the outside world" can be allowed through. It can also automatically adjust how much ANC is applied depending on the level of ambient noise, reducing the ANC effect when in a quiet space, for example, and bumping it up while out and about.
The Adaptive ANC technology has been included in Qualcomm's QCC514x audio system-on-chip series, and can already be found in audio gear from Nuraloop, Master & Dynamic, Clear Audio and Cisco.