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  Date:27th May 2012

In-ear-monitor can switch the i/p audio source as per user control

STMicroelectronics and Soundchip SA have introduced technologies and components for the smart audio accessor.

Its something called In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) worn at all times supports all use modes, including music, telephony and direct conversation, without requiring any reconfiguration of the apparatus in the ear. It s designed to deliver good quality sound while shielding against unwanted background noise.

The smart audio accessory employs Soundchip's patented sound-processing technologies to provide a natural and comfortable sound experience when speaking, even with the accessory in place and physically sealing the ear. By electro-acoustically "opening" this seal, the smart audio accessory is able to pass ambient sound directly to the wearer, providing an ability to listen and converse naturally with the accessory still in place.

The smart audio accessory provides the ability to conveniently switch between different audio sources - voice, music or ambient sound - by simply pressing a button, making a pre-defined gesture or issuing a voice command. Various options are supported, including those that leverage ST's recognized leadership in MEMS motion sensors.

In addition, by connecting the smart audio accessory to a DSP or DSP-capable controller (such as the STM32 F4), and a smartphone or tablet computer, the sound experience can be further enhanced by taking advantage of custom-made apps, which individually process and mix sound sources to deliver innovative new features, such as augmented reality.

Mark Donaldson, Soundchip CEO, said, "The smart audio accessory combines the very best of Soundchip's unique audio-system technology for sound at the ear. We believe that the smart audio accessory represents a game changing solution that offers the users of smartphones, tablet computers and gaming devices a level of sound experience only dreamed of until now."

"As a global leader in the design and high-volume manufacturing of integrated circuits and MEMS, ST's collaboration with Soundchip aims to provide customers with the solutions they need to pioneer the audio products of the future," said Andrea Onetti, Audio and Sound Business Unit Leader at STMicroelectronics. "The smart audio accessory represents an exciting step forward made possible by the uncompromised quality and performance of our MEMS microphones combined with our expertise and experience in audio silicon design."

Soundchip and ST will be presenting examples of the smart audio accessory concept to customers throughout June.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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