Your current smartphone likely has no problem outputting CD-quality sound. Sure, maybe the speaker isn’t so great, but plug in some headphones and you’re going to be able to enjoy some crisp, clear digital audio. However, with everyone already sounding pretty good, companies can earn themselves some extra attention by going above-and-beyond our normal expectations; just look at HTC (and now HP) with Beats Audio technology. Now Wolfson Microelectronics, maker of audio chips already in use by companies like Samsung (there’s a Wolfson WM5102 in some GS4s), has a new advanced audio processor to announce that sounds like it could really take things to the next level.
CD-quality audio is stereo, with 16 bits per sample, sampling 44.1 thousand times per second. The new Wolfson WM5110 chip, by comparison, can output “studio master” quality audio that’s 24-bit, at sample rates as high as 192kHz.
The quad-core chip is also very power efficient and performs all the noise and echo cancellation we expect from our smartphone mics. OEMs will be able to check out samples of the chip starting in Q3, and if they like what they see, we might just get this chip in phones next year – possibly even the Galaxy S 5.