MEMS microspeaker for wearables weighs 56mg

MEMS microspeaker for wearables weighs 56mg

Startup xMEMS Labs Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has launched a MEMS microspeaker called Cowell that it claims is the world’s smallest.

It measures 3.2mm by 1.15mm by 6.0mm (22 cubic millimeters) and weighs 56 milligrams making it suitable for true wireless stereo earbuds.

Cowell delivers a sound pressure level of 110dB at 1kHz; provides up to 15dB of gain above 1kHz for improved speech-in-noise performance and greater vocal and instrumental clarity versus electrodynamic and balanced armature µspeakers. Cowell is the first speaker to use xMEMS’ second generation M2 speaker cell architecture enabling increased loudness in smaller form factors. Cowell engineering samples are available now, with mass production in early 2Q22.

“Cowell’s architecture addresses two key hearables market trends: 1) spatial and lossless audio; and 2) over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids,”

said Mike Housholder, xMEMS’ vice president of marketing and business development.

“Cowell’s small size and performance are perfectly aligned with these market trends with a fast mechanical response, up to 150x faster than incumbent speakers, near zero phase shift and +/-1 degree phase consistency enabling precise placement of audio in 3D space.”

For TWS applications, Cowell can be implemented as a full-range driver in occluded earbud architectures or as a small, high-performance tweeter paired with an electrodynamic woofer driver in non-occluded or leaky 2-way solutions.

For hearing aid applications, Cowell is a full-range driver that is 45 percent smaller than an equivalent balanced armature receiver, making receiver-in-canal applications a possibility.

As with all xMEMS microspeakers, Cowell is a monolithic architecture implementing both actuation and diaphragm in silicon resulting in better part-to-part frequency response consistency and reducing speaker matching or calibration time at manufacturing.

Cowell is paired with the xMEMS Aptos Class-H audio amplifier (1.92 x 1.92 x 0.6mm WLCSP).

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