SPARK Microsystems unveils Golion headset reference design

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SPARK Microsystems, a Canadian fabless semiconductor company specialising in next-generation short-range wireless communications, has released its Golion wireless headset reference design.

This leverages SPARK ultra-wideband (UWB) audio technology to deliver what the company is claiming is an ‘unparalleled audio experience’.

SPARK’s UWB audio is production-proven technology and was recently integrated into the Sonus faber Duetto wireless speaker system. Golion, leveraging this same technology, extends SPARK’s reach from wireless speakers into headsets.

SPARK’s UWB audio offers exceptionally low latency of just 5ms to ensure audio-video synchronisation, complemented with the ability to deliver uncompressed audio data. Unlike traditional Bluetooth headsets, it supports high data throughput, enabling the transmission of lossless audio that’s uncompromised by compression or degradation. This means that the audio remains distortion-free, retaining the quality of the original audio source as it was intended to sound.

With support for up to 24-bits of resolution, the SPARK UWB audio featured in the Golion headset reference design offers support for up to 96kHz stereo audio and a 32 kHz microphone back channel with a low latency of ~8ms making the technology suitable for applications where clear, uninterrupted communication is essential.

SPARK’s UWB technology is set to transform a variety of audio applications. For prosumer and premium headsets, SPARK UWB audio enables the playback of lossless audio streams from leading services such as Apple Music, Tidal HiFi, Amazon Music HD, Deezer Premium, Qobuz, and soon, Spotify. In the gaming world, the ultra-low latency ensures that players stay perfectly in sync with the on-screen action. And for studio monitors, sound engineers, mixing desks, musical instruments, and voice communicators in noisy environments, SPARK’s UWB audio is able to deliver both enhanced quality and latency performance.

“The rise of lossless audio streaming services necessitates a true lossless wireless headset, and the Golion headset reference design will enable audio designers to get to market faster with their innovations,” said Graham Loveridge, Senior Director Marketing, SPARK Microsystems. “SPARK’s UWB audio is a game-changer, eliminating the need to compromise between the convenience of wireless and the supreme audio quality and low latency of wired connectivity.”

Golion and other UWB solutions from SPARK will be available for demos at CES 2024.