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MEMS microspeaker integrates active venting

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By Rich Pell


The Montara Pro MEMS microspeaker with integrated DynamicVent, says the company, enables smart TWS earbuds and hearing aids that create best-of-both-worlds user experiences combining the benefits of closed-fit (occluded) and open-fit earbuds. The DynamicVent technology can be intelligently opened or closed by the earbud system DSP based on ambient noise levels detected by microphones or the listener’s activity from motion sensors.

With the vent closed, Montara Pro creates a listening environment with the best passive isolation for music and media consumption or for improved focus in the presence of background noise. With the vent open, Montara Pro enables improved spatial awareness, increased listening comfort, and reduced occlusion effects, such as the perception of the user’s own voice as too loud, “boomy,” or “hollow.”

Equally important, says the company, DynamicVent eliminates the need for traditional static vents that create a persistent low frequency roll-off that impacts music and media quality and also impacts consumers with low-frequency hearing loss. The DynamicVent can also eliminate the need for oversized speakers in earbuds that are commonly used to compensate for low frequency loss caused by persistent, static vents.

“As part of our mission to ‘Reinvent Sound’ we are extending the capabilities of what µspeakers can do in small form-factor systems,” says Dr. Chiung Lo, xMEMS Co-Founder and VP of Design. “Achieving the highest quality sound reproduction remains job-one, but now with DynamicVent technology we enable system designers to balance the benefits of open and closed-fit earbud architectures that lead the way to more intelligent and higher-performance solutions for consumers in a variety of listening environments.”

Montara Pro’s µspeaker delivers a flat frequency response achieving 115dB SPL up to 1kHz and provides up to 18dB of gain above 1kHz for improved voice and instrument clarity. Montara Pro is a monolithic, single-die architecture implementing both the speaker and the DynamicVent in silicon resulting in unmatched part-to-part frequency response consistency and reducing speaker matching or calibration time at manufacturing.

Montara Pro’s DynamicVent implements a differential design that eliminates open/close noise. The large vent opening creates relief equivalent to a 1.5mm2 hole and offers 20dB of attenuation from 500Hz to 20Hz. Unlike other non-MEMS approaches to active venting, the DynamicVent achieves an IP58 rating providing better resilience to particulate and moisture ingress, improving the longevity of the end-product.

Montara Pro is available in a side-firing (5.15 x 1.15 x 10.8mm) LGA package. Montara Pro is paired with the xMEMS Aptos Class-H audio amplifier (1.92 x 1.92 x 0.6mm WLCSP). Samples and evaluation kits are available today for select customers, with mass production expected in Q3 2022.

xMEMS


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