MEMS speakers are replacing balanced armature speakers

1 min read

USound, a provider of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) loudspeakers for hearables and wearables, has forecast that MEMS speakers will dominate the market in most portable consumer electronics by 2025.

The market for MEMS loudspeakers is set to increase from 2023, whereas balanced armature will significantly decrease from 2024 onwards. By 2025 it is estimated that MEMS speakers will be dominating 50% of the market share within True Wireless Stereo (TWS) systems.

This rapid growth is being attributed to the increasing demand for smaller and more powerful loudspeakers and the trends of miniaturisation and concealed technology in TWS, OTC hearing aids, and wearables such as audio and AR/VR glasses.

USound suggests that balanced armature and electrodynamic speakers are already reaching their limits in terms of how small they can be and how to meet market requirements. Additionally, MEMS speakers can be processed in fully automated production lines, unlike balanced armature, which requires manual assembly.

Compared to voice coil microspeakers, MEMS loudspeakers are said to take up to 50% less space, use significantly less energy and offer a greater frequency range. Due to their reduced size, MEMS speakers consume less PCB space enabling the possibility of adding sensors for more technical features such as pulse meter, accelerometer, UHF sensors, microphones for ANC/voice pickup/beamforming, and a larger battery for increased play-time of hearables such as true wireless earbuds.

All of these attributes have made MEMS speakers an increasingly attractive option for manufacturers looking for better sound quality, with a smaller footprint and high reliability at lower prices.

USound MEMS speakers are a speaker technology used in the manufacturing of MRI-compatible headphones and OTC hearing aids thanks to the lack of ferromagnetics, no vibration, and SPL per weight and size.

“Our MEMS speakers are becoming increasingly popular due to their performance. We are dedicated to supporting the miniaturisation move forward and empowering consumer electronics manufacturers to create smarter and better performing devices,” said Ferruccio Bottoni, CEO at USound.

USound has been collaborating with Chinese companies such as Tiancheng Network Technology on TWS blueprints and prototypes and Upstar on OTC hearing aids for faster technology adoption.

USound MEMS speakers are already being adopted by top-tier consumer electronics brands that will be revealing their projects in the near future.