ams AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing companion chip provides world’s best performing noise cancellation for loose- and closed-fit earbuds
Multi-sensor innovation kit based on AS3460 supports new optical sensor features such as automatic in-ear detection
ams roadmap sees role for wireless earbuds in personal health monitoring, sleep enhancement, and treatment of symptoms of hearing disorders such as tinnitus
Las Vegas, NV (January 7, 2020) -- ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, is today demonstrating the future of personal audio at the CES exhibition (7-10 January 2020, Las Vegas, NV) with its new Earbud Innovation Demo Kit.
The ready-to-use reference design shows how loose-fit true wireless earbuds can achieve selective noise cancellation for augmented hearing, while supporting features such as proximity sensing for automatic power saving and usability enhancements. Unique ams Adaptive Leakage Compensation technology in the AS3460 – the digital audio processor at the heart of the reference design – dynamically adjusts the frequency coverage and depth of noise attenuation to cancel out noise which enters the ear directly, bypassing the earbud’s silicone tip.
This means that users who find loose-fit earbuds more comfortable to wear for long periods can enjoy the same noise cancellation performance as that of closed-fit earbuds, which plug the ear tightly to provide a physical barrier to ambient noise.
The Digital Augmented Hearing engine on which the AS3460 is based also provides a platform for new functions which make the earbud a core component of digital consumers’ lives, including personal health monitoring, selective sound awareness, and treatment for the symptoms of tinnitus.
The new innovation kit is on display at ams’ booth at Venetian Tower, Suite 236 / 30th floor at CES.
Chris Feige, Executive Vice President for Ear Solutions at ams, says: “Studies of consumer attitudes confirm that true wireless earbud users strongly prefer the loose-fit type because it is more comfortable to wear. The closed-fit earbud is a compromised design, sacrificing the user’s comfort in order to gain some passive noise attenuation and compensate for the weakness of conventional noise cancellation systems in loose-fit earbuds. With the AS3460’s Adaptive Leakage Compensation technology, ams has solved the leakage problem and is uniquely able to provide a closed-fit standard of noise-cancellation performance in the comfortable loose-fit form factor.”
ams, a pioneer in the growing wireless, noise cancellation earbud market
ams, a pioneer in noise cancellation in earbuds, introduced the AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing companion chip in 2019 to bring high-performance noise cancellation for the first time to loose-fit wireless earbuds.
The convenience of completely wire-free listening has led consumers to adopt true wireless earbuds in increasing numbers. Analyst forecasts predict annual growth of 39% for this category in the years to 2023. Shipments of wireless earbud units are expected to be higher than the numbers of all other types of earphones and headphones put together by 2022.
The AS3460 is the first audio chip to provide up to 40dB of noise attenuation in the loose-fit type of wireless earbud over a broad range of audible frequencies, providing a quiet acoustic background in almost any environment. This means the user can take calls and listen to music at lower volume, which helps protect their long-term hearing health.
In the Earbud Innovation Demo Kit, ams also provides the AS3460’s Automatic Preset Selection technology, which detects different acoustic environments such as the interior of a car, an air plane cabin, or a crowded room, and automatically applies an optimized noise filter without the user having to do anything – and without compromising safety or comfort as the user moves from one place to another.
Platform for earbud innovation
The Digital Augmented Hearing Engine also supports special audio functions such as:
- tinnitus treatment, cancelling out the frequencies associated with the patient’s symptoms
- speech enhancement, to improve the user’s ability to listen to conversation when normal hearing is compromised
- selective noise cancellation, automatically passing through essential external noises such as an ambulance approaching when a user is crossing the road
In the Earbud Innovation Demo Kit, the AS3460 is paired with TMD2635 nano-proximity optical sensor modules, which provide automatic in-ear detection. This enables power saving when the earbuds are not in use. Nano-proximity sensors can also be used to enable gesture control of the earbud’s operation, for instance using a swipe gesture to raise or lower the volume.
In future, optical sensors embedded in an earbud will also be able to monitor vital physical signs such as heart rate, blood pressure and vagal tone.
The Earbud Innovation Demo Kit is supplied in a small, earbud-sized form factor. It is available to buy at the ams online shop.
The AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing companion chip is available today in production volumes. For sample requests or more technical information, go to https://ams.com/as3460.