Memory

MEMS speakers are replacing balanced armature speakers

6th May 2022
Kiera Sowery

USound is on a rapid path to replacing balanced armature micro speakers with MEMS speakers in most portable consumer electronics by 2025.

The market for MEMS loudspeakers is set to increase from 2023, whereas balanced armature will significantly decrease from 2024 onwards. By 2025 it is estimated that MEMS speakers will be dominating 50% of the market share within True Wireless Stereo (TWS) systems. 

This rapid growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for smaller and more powerful loudspeakers and the trends of miniaturization and concealed technology in TWS, OTC hearing aids, and wearables such as audio and AR/VR glasses. 

Balanced armature and electrodynamic speakers are already reaching their limits in terms of how small they can be and how to meet market requirements. Additionally, MEMS speakers can be processed in fully automated production lines, unlike balanced armature, which requires manual assembly. Compared to voice coil microspeakers, USound MEMS loudspeakers take up 50% less space, use 80% less energy and boast a greater frequency range.

Due to their reduced size, MEMS speakers consume less PCB space enabling the possibility of adding sensors for more technical features such as pulse metre, accelerometer, UHF sensors, microphones for ANC / voice pickup/beamforming, and a larger battery for increased play-time of hearables such as true wireless earbuds. This has made MEMS speakers an attractive option for manufacturers looking for better sound quality, with a smaller footprint and high reliability at lower prices. USound MEMS speakers became the must-have speaker technology for manufacturing MRI-compatible headphones and OTC hearing aids thanks to the lack of ferromagnetics, no vibration, and SPL per weight and size.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of our technology. Our MEMS speakers are becoming increasingly popular due to their performance. We are dedicated to supporting the miniaturisation move forward and empowering consumer electronics manufacturers to create smarter and better performing devices,” said Ferruccio Bottoni, CEO at USound. USound has been collaborating with Chinese companies such as Tiancheng Network Technology on TWS blueprints and prototypes and Upstar on OTC hearing aids for faster technology adoption.

USound MEMS speakers are already being adopted by top-tier consumer electronics brands that will be revealing their projects in the near future.

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