World’s Smallest MEMS Speaker For TWS and Hearing Aid Applications

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Its high-frequency response delivers new levels of clarity and presence to speech, vocals and instrumentals

The Cowell

To deliver better sound quality for improved speech-in-noise performance and greater vocal and instrumental clarity as compared to electrodynamic and balanced armature µspeakers, here’s presenting the Cowell, the world’s smallest monolithic MEMS µspeaker that weighs just 56 milligrams, delivers an impressive 110dB SPL at 1kHz and up to 15dB of gain above 1kHz.

“Cowell’s architecture addresses two key hearables market trends: 1) spatial and lossless audio; and 2) over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids,” said Mike Housholder, xMEMS VP of Marketing and Business Development.

“Cowell’s small size and performance are perfectly aligned with these market trends with a fast mechanical response, up to 150x faster than incumbent speakers, near-zero phase shift and +/-1 degree phase consistency enabling precise placement of audio in 3D space.”

For TWS applications, Cowell can be implemented as a full-range driver in congested earbud architectures or as a small, high-performance tweeter paired with an electrodynamic woofer driver in non-occluded or leaky 2-way solutions.

Despite its small size, Cowell offers improved SPL/mm2, enabling increased loudness in smaller form factors.

Its high-frequency response delivers new levels of clarity and presence to speech, vocals and instrumentals, allowing the woofer to focus on low-frequency energy required for active noise cancellation.

For hearing aid applications, Cowell is a full-range driver that is 45% smaller than an equivalent balanced armature receiver, making receiver-in-canal applications a possibility.

Its superior high-frequency response, lack of in-band resonance peaks and 15dB of gain above 1kHz make it an ideal speaker for addressing high-frequency hearing loss and improving speech intelligibility in noise.

Lastly, Cowell’s speaker diaphragm is vented (front-to-back) enabling the relief of air pressure that may build up over time inside the ear canal, resulting in reduced fatigue with increased long-term wear and listening comfort.

Cowell’s monolithic architecture implements both actuation and diaphragm in silicon, resulting in unmatched part-to-part frequency response consistency and reduced speaker matching or calibration time at manufacturing.

The mechanism has also eliminated spring and suspension recovery of coil speakers, improving audio quality and sound field reproduction.

The side-firing package and 1mm-thin profile provide for placement flexibility in the earbud making space for larger batteries and additional sensor components.

Available in a 3.2mm x 1.15mm x 6.0mm side-firing LGA package (3.4mm diameter) and SMT-ready package with an IP58 rating, mass production of the Cowell is expected in Q2 2022.


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