At CES this January, Qualcomm introduced the QCC5100 chipset built to improve battery life, reception and processing power of wireless earbuds. Now the company has announced a cheaper version, the QCC3026, intended to make it easier for device companies to make their own entry-level and mid-tier Bluetooth-connected audio devices — especially as proprietary buds bundled with phones.
Per Qualcomm’s press release, its new chip offers improved connectivity between each earbud and to their paired smartphone, as well as good audio quality. It also better balances power distribution of the two buds, which should lower consumption for longer battery life. The company intends to make the chip’s designs available to device manufacturers in the second half of 2018 so they can make their own earbuds, but one has already put it to work. Oppo is using the QCC3026 in its O-Free, and as The Verge reports, those wireless earbuds will be bundled with the Lamborghini edition of the company’s flagship Find X smartphone. The O-Free will be available on its own in August for 699 Yuan (about $106).