LAPIS Semiconductor has recently announced the development of a low power microcontroller that has an integrated 8-bit low power MCU core, speech synthesis circuit, highly efficient Class-D speaker amp, non-volatile memory and oscillator circuit on a single chip, making audio playback possible by simply wiring up a speaker.
The ML610Q304 has a typical audio power output of 450 mW operating at 3 V or 1 W at 5 V. The controller includes four 8-bit counters which can be combined to make two 16-bit timers, a three channel 10-bit A/D converter, a two channel SSIO, UART and I2C peripheral interfaces. The memory capacity of the ML610Q304 includes a 96 KB program flash, 2 KB data flash and 1 KB RAM. The dedicated hardware-based audio playback helps reduce CPU loading. Two suggested audio playback formats are 16 kHz 16-bit PCM and 16kHz HQ-ADPCM. The Class-D amp reduces current consumption during audio playback by approx. 40% compared to conventional solutions, making it a good choice for incorporation into mobile battery-powered devices. In recent years a growing number of electronic products are adding voice playback functionality, particularly battery-driven devices that require increased miniaturization and lower power consumption for longer operating life.
8-bit MCU with built-in 1 W Audio Amp – [Link]
Focus a beam of sound at objects or into your head!
The Soundlazer directional audio project is the continuation of my first and very successful project here on Kickstarter. I developed the Soundlazer “Snap” during my quest to lower the cost of this amazing technology and give backers the opportunity to explore new possibilities in directional audio.
Parametric speakers like the Soundlazer are directional speaker systems. They use ultrasonic carrier waves to transmit audio to listeners in a focused beam of sound that acts like light from a laser. Generally speaking, only the person standing in front of a parametric speaker can hear the audio being transmitted. People to the sides of the directional audio source hear little or no sound.
Soundlazer “Snap” – The Directional Parametric Speaker – [Link]
Rugged, great sounding boomboxes for all of life’s adventures.
DemerBox is a rugged, great sounding, water-resistant boombox that you can put things inside. The Bang is our single speaker model. Its about the size of a lunchbox but don’t let its svelte size fool you. The Bang gets loud, has tight punchy bass, and pleasing mids and highs. The Big Bang is our two speaker model. Its about the size of a soccer ball. The Big Bang gets louder than The Bang, and because it has two speakers, you get stereo separation and a little more detail in the music.
DEMERBOX – Rugged Wireless Boomboxes – [Link]
Make your own computer speaker system. This simple and inexpensive project will let you set up a small audio amplifier circuit and let more sound out your computer.
A simple audio amplifier circuit based on the LA4440 IC. This circuit will take your computer’s headphone level output and amplify it to drive a pair of external speakers. If you are listening to music or movies on laptops and computers, this is a useful little project for you. Laptop speakers are never loud enough to give satisfying listening. They give users the ability to hear something, but for anything like music or movie soundtracks they are very poor performers. The output from a laptops built in speakers is just too low, and this circuit addresses that low power with some additional amplification.
This circuit uses an LA4440 and some supporting components to give you much more power, while retaining a small package that you can use. The LA4440 is a dual channel audio power amplifier, with low distortion, and a good frequency range. Using 2 channels, the LA4440 will output 6 watts per channel, that can drive much larger speakers than a laptop can hold. When you set up a small enclosure(s), a 12V power supply, and an audio jack connection to the laptop you’ll have a nice enhancement to your laptop audio enjoyment.
Laptop Audio Amplifier – [Link]
Gio Militano writes:
Until recenty my desktop computer has always shared a room with a Hi-Fi setup so there has never been a need for using decent speakers with the computer. When the desktop computer was moved into it’s own room (with no HiFi) I quickly realized that good speakers were now required for decent quality music playback. I had been using some low cost Radio Shack speakers with an inexpensive Tripath based amplifier and I was really itching for an upgrade.
Fostex FE103En Bass Reflex Bookshelf Speakers – [Link]
Researchers at Harvard University have demonstrated a new type of loudspeaker transducer which works on a different principle to the conventional moving coil design. It is made up of a thin sheet of transparent rubber sandwiched between two layers of salt water gel. A modulated high voltage signal passed across the two outer gel layers exerts pressure on the rubber membrane, causing it to vibrate and produce sound. The prototype speaker has a frequency response from 20 to 20 kHz.
The effect is produced by the electrical charges carried by ions and not the movement of electrons so strictly speaking this is not an electronic device. The new transducer could be used as an adaptive lens in an optical system or as a window-mounted noise cancellation device. The electrolyte gel is biocompatible so there could also be applications as artificial skin or muscle. [via]
Ionic Gel Speaker – [Link]
Kyocera has developed an ultra-thin, lightweight audio device, dubbed the Smart Sonic Sound, based on the company’s fine ceramic technology.
The 1mm-thin speaker uses a piezoelectric actuator combined with a special film to create a piezo film speaker, enabling the manufacture of very thin TVs, PCs and tablets with improved audio quality. The device’s low directivity characteristics broaden the sound projection range, providing 180-degree sound quality and bringing delicate and minute sounds to life, says the manufacturer.
This piezo actuator audio technology is already in use, LG Electronics integrated it into its 55” curved-screen OLED TV. Smart Sonic Sound comes in three different sizes, 70×110×1.5mm, 35×65×1.0mm and 19.6×27.5×0.7mm, with respective frequency ranges of 200Hz to 20kHz, 500Hz to 20kHz and 800Hz to 20kHz. They weigh 23g, 7g and 1g respectively.
1mm-thin, lightweight piezo film speaker targets thin TVs, tablets – [Link]
Reliable loudspeakers needn´t be expensive. K50/8 from company Visaton is a good example of a universal louspeaker suitable even to less favor conditions for a very affordable price.
K50/8 belongs to 5 cm (2“) industrial loudspeakers with an increased resistance. IP65 (from the side of membrane after building into an appropriate housing) says it all. Plastic membrane from mylar is UV-resistant and a metal basket ensure a long-term stable properties in a wide range of temperatures. K50 easily handles what it is intended for – reproduction of voice and various sound in a wide frequency range (naturally except low and highest frequencies). K50 also meets another requirement important for the most of applications – small profile – 17mm only. Similarly like the most of small loudspeakers, also K50 is virtually omnidirectional even at higher frequencies (-5db/90°/8000 Hz)..
Thanks to its small dimensions, low profile, resistance and last but not least also an affordable price is the K50 a suitable component for a sound output of various devices like audio door-keeper, lifts, machines and control panels. K50 and many other Visaton components are our standard stock items. In case of interest in non-stock types, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Add a sound to your devices – for an outstanding price – [Link]
Irdroid v2.0 is advanced version of the Irdroid remote control hardware. The unit is standalone, powered by 12V DC adapter and it has a bluetooth communication module. The unit features a infra-red remote control for android and a Bluetooth Music receiver in one. The module can be used simultaneously to control home TV/AV equipment and to turn any speaker into a wireless bluetooth speakers.
Irdroid v2.0 – universal remote for Android – [Link]
A new chip from NXP can boost the output power of micro speakers by more than five times, vastly improving the sound quality of mobile devices. By driving over 2.6 watts RMS into micro speakers that have previously been limited to 0.5 W, the TFA9887 IC will give mobile phones, portable music players and tablets much louder sound, deeper bass, and higher sound quality without risking speaker damage.
Adaptive excursion control measures the actual excursion of the speaker membrane to ensure that it never exceeds its rated limit. Real-time temperature protection measures the voice-coil temperature directly to prevent thermal damage. An advanced clip avoidance algorithm monitors audio performance and prevents clipping, even when the power supply begins to sag. Bandwidth extension increases the low frequency response well below speaker resonance. And an intelligent DC-to-DC boost converter maximizes audio headroom from any supply level despite battery undervoltage. The chip automatically adapts to any changes in the speaker – including ageing, damage to the enclosure, and blocked speaker ports – helping to optimize performance and maintain the desired sound quality. [via]
Novel Speaker Driver Delivers Hyperaudio from Mobile Devices – [Link]