New xMEMS Micro Speaker Uses Navy Sonar Tech
It’s an industry first for xMEMS, which is launching their new Cypress MEMS micro speaker, which can be used within noise-cancelling earbuds, and is replacing century-old coil speakers by employing sonar technology that is claimed to achieve a 40X louder bass response, and a 140dB low-frequency sound pressure level (SPL).
xMEMS Labs said that with the new innovative Cypress, they are “changing the way mass-market, true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds create ultra high-quality, high-resolution sound experiences across all audio frequencies.”
Delivering sound through ultrasound has been researched since the 1960s, but the xMEMS’ Cypress is the first prototype to bring the commercial offering to market.
xMEMS says their new MEMS drivers are durable with a huge frequency-response range, a speedy transient response that allows a rapid shift from one sound to another, and more precise sound reproduction.
“By shifting to a sound from ultrasound principle, the xMEMS Cypress micro speaker can now officially replace traditional coil-and-magnet speakers in active noise cancelling earbuds,” said Mike Housholder, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development for xMEMS.
“Cypress maintains all of the benefits of xMEMS’ existing speakers, while being 40x louder in low frequencies, achieving a key requirement for ANC earbuds.”
Ultrasound technology was developed initially by both the U.S. and Soviet Navy sonar applications, but xMEMS has taken original research proving it was possible to embed human-audible sound information within a beam of inaudible ultrasound and created the Cypress.
To craft the Cypress, xMEMS swapped out legacy push-air sound reproduction with the company’s ultrasonic amplitude modulation transduction principle.
Ultrasonic modulation turns ultrasonic air pulses into robust, comprehensive, bass-heavy, high-fidelity sound, which replaces the moving-coil concept for high-volume consumer active noise cancelling (ANC) earbud micro speakers.
xMEMS says that the Cypress provides a close to original recording experience than current speaker technologies.
The Cypress is also claimed to have a speedier electrical-to-acoustic conversion that can add to a broader ANC bandwidth (i.e., expansion of ANC to cancel higher frequency noise sources) and a near-constant electrical-to-acoustic conversion time (group delay), can lessen DSP filter complications leading to briefer DSP latency, rounding faults, and power consumption when processing ANC.
Attendees may get a demonstration at CES 2024 by appointment only, but for now, the Cypress is at the working prototype stage. The first noise-cancelling earbuds with Cypress’ ultrasonic technology could be available by early 2025, following a full production rollout by the end of 2024.