CES 2014 – Wolfson Microelectronics and ComHear partner to deliver wearable consumer audio

Wolfson Microelectronics, a leading developer of mixed-signal semiconductor devices and audio solutions for consumer electronic products, and ComHear, an audio processing and wearables company, have announced a technology partnership to supply audio to the wearable consumer audio space.

The first product to be released, a Wolfson reference design headset using ComHear’s EarPuff earbuds, features a combination of both companies’ technologies, and integrates ComHear’s Kinetic Audio Processing (KAP) software onto Wolfson’s WM8280 Audio Hub solution with ambient noise cancellation (ANC). This headset is able to deliver an audio experience, even in the noisiest environments, and can be used with all types of mobile consumer audio devices, but is especially adapted for wearable media presentation devices such as ComHear’s Playbutton, a fully customisable MP3 digital music player in a branded, wearable button.

ComHear’s KAP software improves the user’s perception of bass, spatial imaging and high frequencies, providing an immersive audio experience and eliminating the “in head” effect which can be common with headsets. The combination of ComHear and Wolfson technologies result in an improved audio experience without the need to listen at high volume levels, which protects listeners’ long-term hearing acuity while increasing their enjoyment of audio.

Designed for portable devices including smartphones, tablets and headsets, Wolfson’s WM8280 high performance, low power Audio Hub solution with integrated audio digital signal processor (DSP) features an earpiece and stereo headphone ANC, enabling a reduction in background noise by up to 90%. When used in mobile devices, it provides crisp and clear audio and voice calls, audio capture and playback and is suitable for conference call and video call experiences.

The WM8280 is platform agnostic, so it can be used by OEMs 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, enabling OEMs to create a unique audio experience to help differentiate their product in the market.

Randy Granovetter, CEO at ComHear, said: “ 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.”

Alistair Banham, SVP & GM Customer Solutions Business at Wolfson Microelectronics, said: “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.”

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



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