Adaptive Leakage Compensation is a game changer in personal audio

Our teams at ams develop many of the most important elements of today’s consumer technologies, so it is vital we understand consumer thinking. That is why, earlier this year, we asked consumers about their earbuds – how they use them, their likes and dislikes, and the future earbud innovations that most intrigue them. That many of them want Adaptive Leakage Compensation (ALC) is one fact they still may not realize.

One top finding was that people often have multiple ways they listen to audio. Perhaps surprisingly, however, they choose different form factors for different uses – such as tight fit for vigorous exercise, loose-fit for ‘all day’ use. We also learned they want digital active noise cancellation (ANC) technology in whichever form factor they use.

Our study was comprehensive. With more than 2,000 responses from North America, Europe, and China we learned that users want to hear music, podcasts, phone calls and more without outside noise distractions.

With loose-fit earbuds, this is a tremendous technical challenge.

Earbuds built using the ams AS3460 sensor offer industry-leading ANC, so they tune out ambient noise. In fact, the technology simultaneously tunes in speech and music with its natural and boosted transparency modes. Still, with a loose-fit device, the amount of ambient noise that leaks around the earbud and into the user’s ear changes constantly – especially if the user is moving. The same is true for in-ear earbuds as well since the shape of each person’s ear is unique. Even tight-fitting earbuds can move during usage, which can impact the noise cancellation properties.

What that all means is that while consumers may not know the term, what they are seeking beyond ANC capabilities is Automatic Leakage Compensation technology. ALC is a set of algorithms developed by ams that constantly monitor and compensate for the changing noise leaking between the loose-fitting or tight-fitting earbud and the user’s ear in real time. With ALC, consumers can enjoy augmented hearing and ANC while using either type of earbuds. It is a unique feature that delivers optimized and stable ANC performance no matter how close the earbuds fit into the user’s ear.

Because of groundbreaking innovations like ALC, Digital Augmented Hearing Solutions from ams are enabling a new era of audio devices in wireless and true wireless earbud designs, truly allowing users to ‘hear what they want to hear.’ The technology also supports Automatic Preset Selection (APS), which automatically adapts the ANC performance to different ambient noise environments.

The ams AS3460 is a low power, small size Digital Augmented Hearing companion device. It’s also one of the technologies that make it possible for OEMs to give consumers precisely what they want.


Want to learn more? Find out more information on the AS3460 and ams Audio Sensing Technology. Read more about Applications for Mobile Devices.

View more information on our consumer audio survey, including the survey consumer-focused press release, the OEM-focused press release, and blog. Request a download of our eBook on the findings.