ams revealed that global earbud manufacturer Nuheara is using the miniature ams AS3412 Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) IC to provide best-in-class hybrid noise cancellation and audio amplifier functions for its new Live IQ earbuds. The innovative Live IQ “true wireless” earbuds offer advanced ANC capabilities. One earbud contains a Bluetooth 5 radio to connect wirelessly to a smartphone or media player, without a wired connection between the earbuds. Priced under 200 USD for retail customers, the Live IQ earbuds feature touch-sensing controls: a simple tap turns noise cancellation on and off to give the user the choice to hear ambient noise as well as the audio output from the speaker, or to listen in silence. The earbuds are also compatible with Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant voice control systems.
When designing the Live IQ product, Nuheara’s goal was to provide earbud wearers with an experience of noise-free, hi-fi audio reproduction comparable to that provided by bulky on-ear wired headphones, but in a tiny, wireless in-ear form factor. The new product needed to be small and light, and Nuheara also wanted to give users a long battery run-time between charges. Nuheara chose the ams AS3412 because of its combination of outstanding audio capabilities, small size and low power consumption. The AS3412 is a highly integrated ANC chip, measuring just 2.2 x 2.2 x 0.4mm, and requiring only few external components. It provides up to 30dB of noise attenuation over an audible frequency range of 20Hz-3kHz. The device’s integrated amplifier is capable of driving 2x34mW into a 32? load. It features a signal-to-noise ratio of 112.5dB and a total harmonic distortion and noise (THD+N) figure of <0.01% at an audio output power of 30mW.
The very small board footprint of the ANC system, based on the AS3412, enabled Nuheara to fashion a compact design for the Live IQ earbuds, giving consumers a comfortable fit and allowing them to enjoy extended periods of noise-free listening. The battery supports four hours of talk time between charges, and 12 hours of listening on-the-go. The low-power characteristics of the AS3412 helped Nuheara to prolong battery run-time – the device operates from a supply voltage of 1.6V-1.8V, and typical power consumption is just 8mW.