As fast as the world of audio is developing, all of our headphones still use physical amplifiers to generate sound which is then pushed against a diaphragm and into our ears. This approach traces its beginnings to over 100 years ago but today xMEMS Labs is offering an alternative with their Cypress ultrasonic solid-state speaker for TWS earbuds. These speakers ditch the physical amplifiers and instead rely on ultrasonic sound pulses which are normally imperceptible to human hearing.
The key development made by xMEMS is the company’s ultrasonic amplitude modulation transduction. The speaker can generate ultrasonic sound pulses which are then pushed to a demodulator to transform the sound pulses into audible sound for the user. Ultrasonic pulses offer an exact acoustic copy of their source signal which should translate to superior audio reproduction across all sound frequencies. Cypress ultrasound speakers are claimed to offer better quality and more detailed sound compared to coil speakers while still supporting hi-res and spatial audio.
xMEMS Cypress ultrasound speaker
Each Cypress MEMS speaker fits in a tiny 6.3 x 6.5 x 1.65mm package and should also offer louder and deeper bass than conventional speakers. The company claims its new ultrasound speaker can produce 140dB low-frequency sound pressure level (SPL) and go as low as 20Hz. Another advantage is the wider ANC bandwidth allowing earbuds with Cypress MEMS speakers to drown out more unwanted higher frequency noises around you. The new speakers are also touted to offer lower latency thanks to their constant electrical-to-acoustic conversion time.
The Cypress ultrasonic speakers from xMEMS will be demonstrated at CES 2024 while mass production is expected to start in late 2024. The company did not share any pricing details just yet but it did reveal it has reached a manufacturing partnership with TSMC which will make them cost-competitive with mass-market speakers for wireless headphones and earbuds.