Qualcomm today showed off the AQT1000, a tool that will help bridge the audio gap in devices that have a USB-C port but no 3.5mm headphone jack. The AQT1000 is an Aqstic Hi-Fi digital to analog converter (DAC). One end plugs into a phone’s USB-C port and the other supports wired headphones. The onboard Aqstic DAC, pulled from the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, delivers high-quality 384 kHz audio streams at 32 bits with a dynamic range of 123 dB. In addition to Qualcomm’s aptX HD codec, the AQT1000 also includes native Direct Stream Digital (DSD) support, which is a high-quality codec known for creating warm tones. Qualcomm itself will not use the AQT1000 to make headphone; instead, it is offering the DAC to headphone and phone makers as an alternative to Bluetooth for mobile listening. Qualcomm expects OEMs will bring the DAC to market in devices early next year.
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