Knowles releases new TWS reference design

1 min read

Knowles, a provider of advanced micro-acoustic microphones and speakers, audio solutions, and high-performance capacitors and RF products, is making the KN2 reference design available.

The first True Wireless Stereo (TWS) reference design tuned to the Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve, it features a state-of-art hybrid dual speaker system paired with an advanced Bluetooth system-on-chip (SoC) to deliver High Definition (HD) audio and active noise cancellation (ANC) performance along with other advanced features.

Consumer expectations for HD audio are placing more pressure on OEMs across markets to deliver premium sound performance with robust connectivity and long-wear comfort.

The hybrid dual speaker system consists of a dynamic speaker delivering a stronger bass that is then combined with Knowles’ balanced armature (BA) tweeter for a more precise treble. Together they deliver, according to Knowles, a much-improved listening experience for the user. The small form factor of the system also enables a more comfortable fit without compromising sound quality and range.

Knowles recently released its Preferred Listening Response Curve for earphone design. Knowles began by analysing 200 Billboard Hot 100 songs to determine the treble content of popular music, then performed double-blind listening tests on a range of consumers to evaluate their preferred treble response when listening to that music. The study revealed that treble response beyond 10 kHz is essential for delivering the best music listening experience.

Consequently, designing and tuning an earphone that matches the high frequency response of the Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve is expected to consistently provide a highly satisfactory end user experience and solicit high ratings from consumers.

The KN2 is the first earphone reference design to be tuned to the curve, optimising treble performance.

The KN2 also includes the Qualcomm QCC5144 BT SoC with the aptX codec and aptX Adaptive for robust, low-bit rate, low-latency HD audio and hybrid ANC. Also, within the earbuds are multiple Knowles SiSonic MEMS microphones to enable voice call algorithms for enhanced noise cancelling performance.  

“Consumer expectations for TWS performance are high and now technology is primed to deliver HD audio wirelessly. OEMs across all market segments – from luxury brands to household names to new entrants – are growing more ambitious and competing to deliver feature-rich devices with the best sounding audio,” said Jon Kiachian, Vice President and GM of Knowles Hearing Health Technologies.