LAS VEGAS (10 January, 2018) -- ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today revealed that global earbud manufacturer Nuheara is using the miniature ams AS3412 Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) IC to provide best-in-class hybrid noise cancellation and audio amplifier functions for its new Live IQ earbuds. Nuheara, a leader in the hearing intelligence market, introduced its LiveIQ earbuds at the Consumer Electronics Show today.
The innovative Live IQ “true wireless” earbuds offer advanced ANC capabilities. One earbud contains a Bluetooth® 5 radio to connect wirelessly to a smartphone or media player, without a wired connection between the earbuds.
Priced under 200 USD for retail customers, the Live IQ earbuds feature touch-sensing controls: a simple tap turns noise cancellation on and off to give the user the choice to hear ambient noise as well as the audio output from the speaker, or to listen in silence. The earbuds are also compatible with Apple’s Siri® and the Google Assistant voice control systems.
When designing the Live IQ product, Nuheara’s goal was to provide earbud wearers with an experience of noise-free, hi-fi audio reproduction comparable to that provided by bulky on-ear wired headphones, but in a tiny, wireless in-ear form factor. The new product needed to be small and light, and Nuheara also wanted to give users a long battery run-time between charges.
Nuheara chose the ams AS3412 because of its combination of outstanding audio capabilities, small size and low power consumption. The AS3412 is a highly integrated ANC chip, measuring just 2.2mm x 2.2mm x 0.4mm, and requiring only few external components. It provides up to 30dB of noise attenuation over an audible frequency range of 20Hz-3kHz. The device’s integrated amplifier is capable of driving 2x34mW into a 32Ω load. It features a signal-to-noise ratio of 112.5dB and a total harmonic distortion and noise (THD+N) figure of <0.01% at an audio output power of 30mW.
The very small board footprint of the ANC system, based on the AS3412, enabled Nuheara to fashion a compact design for the Live IQ earbuds, giving consumers a comfortable fit and allowing them to enjoy extended periods of noise-free listening.
The battery supports four hours of talk time between charges, and 12 hours of listening on-the-go. The low-power characteristics of the AS3412 helped Nuheara to prolong battery run-time – the device operates from a supply voltage of 1.6V-1.8V, and typical power consumption is just 8mW.
“As we continue to push the boundaries of ANC technology, it is rewarding to see our product integrated into leading-edge consumer audio devices We are very proud to enable Nuheara to be the first smart earbud provider offering market leading ANC performance of up to 30dB of noise attenuation,” said Christian Feierl, Marketing Manager for Audio Sensors at ams. “The small size and low power of our ANC chips enables Nuheara to implement hybrid ANC and achieve unmatched performance in a smart earbud.”
“The noise cancelling performance of the AS3412 was by far superior to anything else on the market today, and ams’ expertise is unmatched in the industry,” said Justin Miller, CEO of Nuheara. “The technical and design guidance we received from ams was a great help to our design team in aligning the noise cancelling system with the mechanical and acoustic characteristics of the Live IQ earbuds.”
The new Live IQ earbud is on display at the Nuheara booth #44746 at CES 2018 as well as the ams booth #41555 (Smart Home Market Place).
The AS3412 ANC speaker driver IC is in volume production. Unit pricing is $2.70 in an order quantity of 1,000 units.
An evaluation kit, the AS3412 EK-ST, is available to buy from the ams ICdirect online store. For sample requests or for more technical information, go to AS3412.