ams worked with Padmate to perfect the PaMu Quiet earbuds, a unique solution in the space that uses dual chips, combining the ams AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing device with the standard Qualcomm QCC5124 Bluetooth System-on-Chip in order to deliver optimal results that will stand out in an increasingly crowded space. Achieving an outstanding 40dB level with Hybrid Noise Cancelation in its ANC implementation, Padmate positions its latest PaMu Quiet design as "the best ANC earphones you can buy."
The recent 'Comfortable, Smart, High-Performing Earbuds' survey by ams found that alongside performance, comfort and secure fit, digital ANC is a major differentiator for earbud manufacturers. And Padmate perfected the PaMu Quiet design to follow along the lines of the very successful AirPods Pro form-factor, while adding a very original fast charging case with Qi Wireless charging support.
"With the PaMu Quiet, Padmate is offering a unique combination of lightweight, convenient to use and charge earbuds which have been validated independently to have excellent sound quality and ams market-leading digital ANC at a competitive price,” says Christian Feierl, Head of Segment, Audio Sensing at ams. "We believe the PaMu Quiet has become the earbud to beat in its price segment due to this combination of much wanted features. Padmate’s central positioning of the AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing device in managing both ANC and augmented hearing for sound transparency where it is needed demonstrates again that ANC from ams is a ‘must have’ earbud feature."
The Padmate team behind PaMu Quiet was founded in 2010 and has design, R&D, lab testing, and large manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China. The company prides itself on delivering refined designs like the PaMu Quiet earphones, which were developed in partnership with ams, Qualcomm, and other leading-edge companies to continually improve what is possible in the TWS space. For this project, Padmate worked also with Japanese company Hirose for the connectivity, Murata for space-saving advanced electronic components, and GE Plastics for the enclosure materials.
Founded in 2010, Padmate Technology is an advanced technology subsidiary of the Harda Group, a large, vertically integrated manufacturing conglomerate established in 1994, with extensive product design & development, and innovation acceleration programs.
Padmate's marketing for the new PaMu Quiet uses the headline message: "Music in, Noise out, Never Fall out." Apart from combining the platforms from Qualcomm and ams, the design leverages Knowles microphones to best support hybrid noise cancellation and communications. The PaMu Quiet earbuds also offer superior sound quality in an ergonomic design with comfortable wearing, engineered for a natural fit with what the company describes as "decompression design," avoiding occlusion effect.
"PaMu Quiet takes advantage of dual noise sensor technology," says Weimin Chen, Corporate Vice President, Padmate. "Most Bluetooth systems-on-chip on the market are optimized for wireless connectivity. We wanted to launch a best-in-class product in terms of Bluetooth and audio. So we chose a dual-chip solution for PaMu Quiet rather than compromise on either audio or noise-cancelling performance. Not only do the high specification values show this, so do customers."
Padmate uses the ams AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing Companion solution, which enables ANC performance up to 40dB. The PaMu Quiet implementation is able to automate preset cross fading for maximum performance without impacting the quality of music reproduction. Transparency mode is able to amplify speech and deliver seamless cross fading, which makes the earbuds more convenient to use in variable environment situations. And theams AS3460 also enables tiny form factors with its ultra-low-power digital core, adding the flexibility required for the Padmate engineering team to achieve its form-factor intents in the PaMu Quiet design.
"The introduction of technologies that enable digital augmented hearing is consistent with ams' history of making breakthroughs in audio product development. Manufacturers of noise-cancelling headphones have been using ams’ analog ANC speaker driver ICs for more than a decade, benefiting from their high, broadband noise attenuation and low power consumption. ams’ 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," the company details.
With the acquisition of Incus Laboratories in 2016, ams gained new digital audio technology to supplement its analog know-how. This enabled the recent development of its Augmented Hearing Engine platform, which enables the introduction of features such as Adaptive Leakage Compensation (ALC), Automatic Preset Selection (APS), and ‘hear what you want to hear’ capabilities for both tight- and loose-fit earbuds. Upcoming innovations from ams will include sealed ALC, which will compensate for earbud misfit, plus raising ANC performance to 50dB+.