xMEMS unveils all-silicon, Solid-State Fidelity micro speakers

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xMEMS Labs, a specialist in Solid-State Fidelity, are making available what they are describing as three revolutionary solutions for integration into next-generation true wireless (TWS) earphones, in-ear-monitors (IEMs), digital hearing aids, and other emerging personal audio electronics.

The company’s patented silicon-based speaker technology is expected to replace century-old coil speakers, allowing for high-volume, reliable mass production of solid-state speakers using semiconductor fabrication methods, resulting in more precise, higher fidelity, high-resolution audio.

“Since our first product release, we have been overwhelmed by the audio industry’s appreciation of Solid-State Fidelity,” said Mike Housholder, VP of Marketing and Business Development of xMEMS. “Unlike conventional coil speakers, our speakers are monolithic, with silicon membranes offering far better material stiffness and exponentially faster impulse response than conventional speakers, resulting in the superior sound performance of xMEMS Solid-State Fidelity technologies.”

Testing has shown that the xMEMS silicon membrane architecture is 95 times stiffer, offering improved clarity and eliminating the muddy midrange and treble response created by traditional speaker membrane materials.

The silicon architecture also delivers 150 times faster impulse response than traditional designs, offering the most pulse-true and accurate sound reproduction, which is not possible with the slow attack and decay of coil architectures.

xMEMS Labs is now shipping three unique solid-state fidelity solutions:

Cowell, the world’s smallest solid-state micro speaker, delivering superior high-frequency response and clarity, plus a wider sound stage, for TWS earphones and hearing aids.

Montara Plus, said to be the world’s highest output MEMS micro speaker which is capable of sound pressure levels up to 120 dB @ 200 Hz making it a suitable full-bandwidth transducer for audiophile-level, high-resolution in-ear monitors, creating a path to smaller, lighter, simpler IEM designs.

Skyline DynamicVent, the world’s first piezoMEMS, DSP-controllable vent that blends the benefits of open- and closed-fit earbuds and hearing aids. Skyline provides active ambient control (AAC), offering enhanced adaptive ANC and transparency mode implementations with reduced occlusion effects, eliminating the uncomfortable amplification of one’s own voice or footsteps when their ears are covered.

xMEMS Solid-State Fidelity technology is set to dramatically advance the shift to all-silicon audio systems – a transition that started to gain traction in 2007, when MEMS microphones accounted for just 5% of the total microphone market. By 2022 the share was more than 80%..

“The market for MEMS micro speakers is expected to follow a similar trajectory to MEMS microphones,” said Peter Cooney, founder of SAR Insight. “Consumer demand for high-resolution, spatial, lossless streaming audio represents a generational shift in audio content that requires a similar evolution in sound reproduction. Solid-state fidelity can create a more accurate reproduction of the source audio and a vastly superior listening experience.”

This is accomplished using thin-film piezo technology as the speaker actuator, replacing the coil and magnet, which when combined with silicon as the speaker diaphragm instead of plastic or paper creates the world’s first solid-state speaker. Unlike traditional coil speakers used in electronics, xMEMS micro speakers utilise standard semiconductor processes and packaging so they can be produced rapidly, uniformly, and cost-effectively at scale.

The result is a high-performing speaker that is about 1/10th the weight and 40 percent the size of a similar coil speaker. And with no moving parts, an xMEMS solid-state micro speaker is more reliable and durable than prior technologies, even meeting IP58 standards of protection from dust and sweat.

“Solid-State Fidelity and a monolithic architecture not only provide the best listening experience, they also create robust speakers,” Housholder continued. “Solid-state fidelity is a game-changer. Until now, speakers remained one of the few electronic components unimproved by silicon technology. xMEMS true solid-state micro speakers are now here to fundamentally change the way people experience sound.”