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ams’ 3.5mm jack interface allows ANC headsets run battery-free

Date: 20/03/2017
ams AG has launched a technology which enables active noise-cancelling (ANC) headsets with a four-pole 3.5mm jack to operate for the first time without a dedicated battery power supply.

ams’ new Accessory Communication Interface (ACI) invention uses the microphone (MIC) wire – one of four wires in a standard 3.5mm audio cable – to carry power and bidirectional data with a rate of up to 16 Mbit/sec, as well as digital audio signals. By using the 3.5mm connector, manufacturers can eliminate the headset’s battery while reducing the size, weight and bill-of-materials cost of their connected accessory.

The 3.5mm connector becomes more useful by using the ACI capabilities. An ACI equipped ANC headset performs Receive (Rx) noise cancellation and enables Transmit (Tx) noise cancellation on voice calls which increases audio quality significantly.

By using headset-mounted sensors, the device can add features including gesture recognition, proximity sensing, heart-rate measurement, temperature sensing and others. A display or special light effects can also be added to the headset providing innovative opportunities for differentiation.

Advantages of 3.5mm audio solution over USB Type-C systems:

Consumes 60% less power
Requires fewer components
Keeps system costs low

Manufacturers can afford to bundle an ANC headset with a mobile phone as well as the system is compatible with legacy headsets that do not have ACI technology.

“Not only can OEMs make headsets smaller, lighter and more convenient, but with the addition of sensors, LEDs or displays they can add a variety of features which helps them differentiate their products”, said Christian Feierl, Marketing Manager at ams.


The system is available for sampling now.