Determine the price of a Bluetooth headset? Start by knowing its chip!
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By Noemí,, Wsp +86 13790921024 | 30 October 2020 | 1 Comments

Determine the price of a Bluetooth headset? Start by knowing its chip!

Since the release of Apple’s AirPods in 2016, the TWS headset market has been rapidly developing and growing.
The development of TWS earphones has benefited from the development of Bluetooth technology chips. Do you know which Bluetooth chip manufacturers are currently on the market? Do you know whose chip is used in the Bluetooth headset you sell? Why is the price of Apple airpods so high while the i12 only costs a few dollars?
Today we will take a look at some of the more important manufacturers and their main chips in the market.
Manufacturers facing the mid-to-high-end market: Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei HiSilicon.
1. Apple:
As we all know, Apple currently has two major chips: W1, H1.

Apple's AirPods Pro launched last year uses a self-developed Bluetooth chip model H1. The H1 Bluetooth chip supports the Bluetooth 5.1 standard. Compared with the W1 chip, the H1 also has a certain degree of improvement in terms of connection, battery life and power consumption.
2. Qualcomm:
   In the field of TWS earphones , Qualcomm launched a number of Bluetooth chips such as CSR8675, QCC3026 and QCC5100 in 2018.
   Among them, the CSR8675 chip supports the Bluetooth V5.0 standard and uses active noise reduction (ANC) technology. It is Qualcomm's first Bluetooth audio system-level chip with integrated ANC function, which further improves the sound quality and noise reduction effect of the product. Currently, this chip has been used in Sony's (77.47, 1.27, 1.67%) WF-SP700N earphone released in 2018.

Although Qualcomm QCC3026 also supports the Bluetooth V5.0 standard, it does not use active noise reduction technology like CSR8675. In addition, QCC3026 uses Qualcomm TrueWireless stereo technology to reduce the power consumption of the chip, while also improving performance and cost-effectiveness, including Edifier, OPPO O-Free Bluetooth earphones use this chip.

3. Huawei HiSilicon:
The Freebuds 3 true wireless earphone launched by Huawei in 2019 is equipped with HiSilicon’s self-developed Kirin A1 Bluetooth chip.

   It is understood that the Kirin A1 chip supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Bluetooth low power 5.1 dual standards, which greatly enhances the chip's anti-interference ability, noise reduction ability and sound quality, and realizes a dual-channel Bluetooth link.
Huawei said that compared with Apple's H1 chip, the Kirin A1 chip has a delay of 190mm, a 50% reduction in power consumption, and a 30% increase in performance. The Freebuds 3 earphones shipped more than one million within 100 days of its domestic launch.

Low-to-mid-end market: Airoha, BES(Bestechnic), UNISOC
 1. Airoha:
  Airoha was established in 2001. It is a power amplifier (PA) company that MediaTek acquired in 2017 for US$1.3 billion in order to further deploy the Internet of Things market.
   In the field of Bluetooth chips, Airoha has developed a variety of Bluetooth chips such as AB1526P, AB1532 and AB1536, and its customers cover manufacturers such as Philips, Lenovo (12.95, 0.11, 0.86%), Edifier, and Hewitt.

Among them, the AB1532 chip supports Bluetooth 5.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), built-in high-performance signal processing (DSP), and adds low-power voice wake-up. In terms of sound quality, it also supports High-Res high-resolution music and high school low-frequency automatic compensation, and supports multiple MICs.
 2. BES:
   Compared to Airoha, BES, established in 2015, is still a relatively young IC design company, mainly developing RF SOC chips for wireless audio platforms.
   For the TWS earphone market, BES has launched the BES2000 series of chips since 2016, and also released the BES2300 Bluetooth chip in 2018. Huawei Freebuds, Huawei Freebuds 2, Honor FlyPods and Meizu POP all adopt its solutions.

   It is reported that BES2300 uses 28nm process technology and BGA (Ball Grid Array) packaging technology to support external sensor devices and eMMC flash memory. In addition, it also supports the Bluetooth 5.0 standard, low-frequency forwarding technology and dual-mode Bluetooth 4.2, adopts an adaptive active noise reduction scheme, technology, supports the third-generation FWS full wireless stereo technology, dual microphones, etc.
  3. UNISOC:

  As one of China's important IC design and R&D manufacturers, UNISOC has long accumulated and experienced in the fields of baseband chips, AIoT chips and wireless connection chips.
   In 2019, UNISOC officially launched the Ivy 5882 Bluetooth chip, which supports the Bluetooth 5.0 standard, has low power consumption, and has a continuous playback life of more than 4 hours. In terms of delay, the binaural delay of Ivy 5882 is reduced by more than 30% compared with the market average. At the same time, the chip also has a dual main ear effect, supports seamless switching, and further enhances the user's switching experience.
Low-end market: Jieli (JL), Blurtrum, etc.
 1. JL:
   JieLi Technology, established in 2010, mainly designs and develops wireless connection chips for the IoT terminal market such as AI smart speakers, Bluetooth earphones , and Bluetooth speakers. For the TWS Bluetooth earphone market, JL has released a number of Bluetooth chip solutions such as AC6907A, AC693X and AC6936D since 2016.
   Among them, AC693X supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 standards. In terms of performance, the chip has master-slave switching and bilateral call functions, and uses ultra-small sub-assembly and charging management technology to further reduce chip power consumption.

On the other hand, the AC6936D chip supports the Bluetooth 5.1 standard, uses an intelligent lossless noise reduction algorithm, can achieve binaural high-definition calls and seamless master-slave switching, and the power consumption is 6mA. It is reported that MEES F2 headphones equipped with Jerry's AC6936D chip won the German Red Dot Design Award in 2019.
2. Blurtrum:
   Although it was established 6 years later than JieLi, the momentum of Blurtrum’s coming up from behind cannot be underestimated. Blurtrum mainly focuses on high-performance earphones, audio and Internet of Things, and its customers cover manufacturers such as Philips, Audio-Technica, Sony and Hivi.

In the field of Bluetooth chips, Blurtrum has launched a variety of chip solutions such as BT8912B, BT8852A, AB5376A and AB5377T. Among them, the BT8912B chip supports Bluetooth 5.0 and BLE standards, supports GPIO (general input/output) wake-up or interrupt, and master-slave switching.
Although the TWS earphone seems to be a small device, its industrial chain is not simple.
   In the built-in components, in addition to the Bluetooth chip, the main control chip, it also needs to integrate storage chips, MEMS sensors, voice acceleration sensors, batteries and other equipment. It is precisely based on this complex industrial chain that the polarization of the TWS chip market is very serious.
On the one hand, Huawei HiSilicon and UNISOC, among a few manufacturers in the mid-to-high-end market, need to keep chip performance and integrate innovative technologies while taking into account the cost-effectiveness of the chip; on the other hand, a large number of manufacturers are driven by huge commercial interests. Enter the low-end market and attack the TWS earphone knockoff market by using cheap Bluetooth chips and supporting components.

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Note: This article is translated from Chinese by Google to English. If there is any inappropriateness, please correct me. The picture was found on the Internet. If there is any infringement, please contact us to delete it.

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