Qualcomm wants to redefine Hi-Fi for smartphones with its new USB Type-C DAC

Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 chipset is official now, but it was not the only noteworthy news that came straight from the company's Hawaiian Tech summit this week. 

It would seem that Qualcomm is taking Hi-Fi audio pretty seriously in line with the recent early retirement of the 3.5mm audio jack from most phones as it announced that it will be making a brand new Hi-Fi DAC available for device manufacturers to bake into their devices. 

The Aqstic AQT1000 Hi-Fi digital to analog converter is a USB Type-C plug'n'play module that will aim to bring out the best audio-centric experience to consumers than a regular DAC coupled with a 3.5mm audio jack would normally do. 

The module has a dynamic range of 123dB up to 384kHz, 32-bit audio, and THD+N of -105dB. You will have to plug the DAC in your phone's USB Type-C port on one end and your 3.5mm headphones/line-in on the other end and you're pretty much set for a Hi-Fi DAC experience.

Aside from those, the Aqstic also supports high-res Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio, which is a rather faithful format loved by audiophiles that is most often used to store live performances and concerts. Of course, it's just another audio container that largely depends on the used sample rate, but many will swear that DSD is one of the most 'natural' audio file formats you can possibly encounter. So there's that.

Qualcomm's Aqstic AQT1000 Hi-Fi DAC will be available for third-party accessory makers.

source: Slashgear



1. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Sounds promising

9. tangbunna

Posts: 495; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

someone will drill a hole soon

11. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

Does this mean no more 3.5mm heeadphone jack?

12. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

Means less 3.5mm, but definitely can't get rid of it in couple of years

2. shield

Posts: 888; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

LG V30 is best or G6.

3. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Ok, it's more compact than most High-quality external DAC out there.. But, why not focusing on "Audio through USB-C" using USB-IF's standard? so we can use passive USB-C to 3.5mm converter and use smartphone's internal-DAC (instead of crappy cheap DAC in 3.5mm dongle)

5. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

The Hifi DAC can be built into the phone or if you have a phone with USB-C but without HiFi DAC, then you can opt to buy the dongle and enjoy the same high quality high definition audio. They're just trying to branch out a bit. Supposedly they are quite good.

4. japkoslav

Posts: 1553; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Kinda meh considering there are other solutions already on the market. Hifimedyi, Dragonfly, M2Tech, Chord etc. I would rather trust Dragonfly than Qualcomm, that has zero expertise in an audio market. Specs are not everything.

6. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I totally agree

7. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Somebody should ask Qualcomm now why for all those years they were putting crap DACs inside their chips and suddenly they care. Oh wait, could it be because now they can sell you additional dongle for $$$?

8. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

"Qualcomm wants to redefine Hi-Fi " Apparently it won't

10. Avieshek unregistered

Look, Qualcomm joins the dongle race!

13. NorthernViking

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

There's a lot of OTG portable DACs available for Android phones already. The Qualcomm DAC is not really anything new. For example check out Geek Out from LH Labs.

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