"The new audio technology is a proof point of why ams holds a leading position as a wireless earbud system solution provider. Consumer preference today is for loose-fit in-ear wireless earbuds, as they are comfortable when worn for long periods of time. The drawback of the loose-fit earbuds is that more external noise can ‘leak’ into the ear. The new ams digital audio technology platform has enabled the introduction of Automatic Leakage Compensation (ALC) for loose-fit earbuds which adjusts for the air leakage between the earbud and the user’s ear in real time. This means customers can now also enjoy a great Augmented Hearing and noise cancellation experience while using loose fit earbuds," the company explains.
Loose-fit, true-wireless earbuds with ams ALC technology have the potential to give wearers a noise-free listening experience similar to that when wearing ANC headphones. ALC-enabled earbuds are able to produce an almost-silent background to enhance the audio quality of voice calls, music and media content with a noise attenuation capability of as much as 40dB, exceeding that of today’s market-leading AS3418 device (also from ams), which has a noise attenuation rating of 30dB (minimum).
According to Chris Feige, Executive Vice President for the Ear and Automotive division at ams, the company's innovations such as ALC technology are set to usher in a new era of ‘digital augmented hearing’. "Building on our new Augmented Hearing Platform, ams is helping customers in the audio industry re-imagine the consumer’s relationship with their listening devices. With ALC technology, wearers can have pure silence. The vision for our technology is that earphone and headphone manufacturers will in future let users choose which types and sources of external noise to block out and which to hear."
The new ams Augmented Hearing Engine also provides the platform for the Automatic Preset Selection (APS) feature in ams’s AS3460 Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) product. APS audio technology lets earbud manufacturers develop differentiating features by configuring desired noise cancellation settings optimized for different types of ambient noise. Brands can develop earbuds which will automatically switch from one mode to another depending on the type of noise it detects, to provide the best noise cancellation performance in all environments. At a switch-over between preset modes, the AS3460 automatically fades one mode out and the other mode in so that the difference is not noticeable to the user, and so that high noise cancellation performance is maintained continuously.
Manufacturers of noise-cancelling headphones have been using ams’s analog ANC speaker driver ICs for more than a decade, benefiting from their high, broadband noise attenuation and low power consumption. ams’s strong market position also owes much to the expertise that it provides to headphone manufacturers, helping them to optimize the acoustic, mechanical and electrical aspects of their product designs. With the acquisition of Incus Laboratories in 2016, ams gained new digital audio technology to supplement its analog know-how. This move is bearing fruit with the development of the Augmented Hearing Engine platform, which enables the introduction of features such as ALC and ‘hear what you want to hear’ capabilities.