Wolfson and ComHear partner for wearable consumer audio

14th January 2014
Nat Bowers

Aiming to deliver rich and clear audio experiences for wearable consumer audio devices, Wolfson Microelectronics and ComHear announce a technology partnership. The first product released is a Wolfson reference design headset using ComHear’s EarPuff earbuds, integrating ComHear’s Kinetic Audio Processing (KAP) software onto Wolfson’s WM8280 Audio Hub solution with ambient noise cancellation (ANC).

Delivering an amazing audio experience in even the noisiest of environments, this headset can be used with all types of mobile consumer audio devices. However, it is designed specifically for wearable media presentation devices such as ComHear’s Playbutton, a fully customizable MP3 digital music player in a branded, wearable button. Offering an immersive audio experience and eliminating the “in head” effect (common with headsets), ComHear’s KAP software improves the user’s perception of bass, spatial imaging and high frequencies. Combining the two companies' technologies, this partnership offers an incredible audio experience without the need to listen at high volume levels. This protects listeners’ long-term hearing acuity while increasing their audio enjoyment.

Wolfson’s WM8280 is a high performance, low power audio hub solution with integrated audio digital signal processor that has been designed for portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and headsets. Featuring class-leading earpiece and stereo headphone ANC, the audio hub enables a reduction in background noise by up to 90%. This provides an outstanding audio experience for the user, regardless of external environment noise, as well as crisp and clear audio and voice calls, outstanding audio capture and playback, and stunning conference call and video call experiences in mobile devices. Platform agnostic to enable OEMs to create a unique audio experience to help differentiate their product in the market, the WM8280 can be used across all application processor platforms, and can run Wolfson’s Ez2 suite of sound enhancing and noise reduction software, customers’ own software or third party software.

Alistair Banham, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Customer Solutions Business, Wolfson Microelectronics, comments: “Wolfson is dedicated to delivering the best possible noise cancelling audio experience and the most advanced sound enhancing software features available to the maximum number of consumers around the world, whatever their preferred music storage device. Our Audio Hub platform delivers those features, whether they are provided by Wolfson, our customers, or other third parties, and our partnership with ComHear helps us further accomplish this. ComHear is a fresh, innovative and extremely exciting new player on the audio scene, with an incredibly experienced team behind it. By integrating ComHear’s KAP software onto our WM8280 audio solution, consumers can enjoy an audio experience with renewed depth and clarity, the way the artists meant it to be heard.”

“ComHear is excited about our partnership with Wolfson Microelectronics because it confirms our position as the new standard for audio solutions across a wide range of consumer electronics. The KAP software integrated with the WM8280 in headsets, earphones, handsets, Playbuttons, and tablets provide a rich, natural, immersive audio experience. This end-to-end solution, paired with the ComHear EarPuff and the Wolfson audio solution, delivers a unique audio experience to the end user that feels good and sounds incredible,” commented Randy Granovetter, CEO, ComHear.

Wolfson’s WM8280 with ComHear KAP software is available now.

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