Qualcomm Technologies recently published it’s 2021 State of Sound Report – a broad study into the end-user behaviors and feature needs driving wireless audio consumption. Six thousand smartphone users participated in the research, which was conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Germany, and India.

Here’s a quick overview of the research highlights.

Sentiment Towards Audio Device Use in 2021

Around the world, most listeners are now more reliant on their audio devices as part of daily life than they were before 2020.

True Wireless Earbud Use in 2021 vs 2020

As a result, true wireless earbud use increased in 2021 across virtually all activity types, with voice calls and gaming showing the strongest uplift, and long-lasting battery life jumped in importance.

Type of Sound Quality Sought by Consumers in 2021

This increased listening, along with the availability of high-definition streaming content, means consumer awareness of sound quality differentiation is more discerning than ever. 60 percent of study participants in the State of Sound Report look for CD-quality audio or better in their devices.

Interest in Forthcoming Bluetooth Audio Sharing Use Cases

With all types of connected audio usage on the rise, more than a third of respondents indicate interest in each of the new use cases that will be possible with the forthcoming Bluetooth® LE Audio standard.

This is a promisingly high number for an unreleased technology, representing strong potential for consumer adoption as these new use cases become available.

The LE Audio specifications offer new ways to expand the uses of Bluetooth wireless technology and extend the benefits of wireless listening into new consumer segments. LE Audio can help audio manufacturers to meet the fast-growing and diversifying demand for wire-free audio – as highlighted by this new data – building on the significant listener benefits that current Bluetooth wireless audio already delivers.

Developing LE Audio-based functionality and supporting rapid consumer adoption requires a wholistic approach to product development. Key considerations for audio manufacturers will be to ensure seamless backwards compatibility with current Bluetooth wireless technology standards, as well as being able to deliver the best listener experience across the wide range of usage scenarios that today’s consumers desire. Leading platforms designed to support the forthcoming Bluetooth® Audio Sharing capability, such as the Qualcomm® QCC3056 and and Qualcomm® FastConnect 6900, are engineered with this integrated approach in mind to best support immersive-sounding, feature-differentiated true wireless earbuds.

Download the 2021 State of Sound Report.

Qualcomm QCC3056 and Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 are products of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and/or its subsidiaries.

All percentages, consumer behaviors, and attitudes stated in the State of Sound report are based only on the responses of the individuals who participated in the associated survey.


LE Audio

LE Audio will enhance the performance of Bluetooth audio, add support for hearing aids, and introduce Audio Sharing, an innovative new Bluetooth use case with the potential to once again change the way we experience audio and connect with the world around us.


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