xMEMS Labs is bringing what it calls breakthrough technology to the wireless earbuds market late next year after a CES 2024 debut — the Cypress ultrasonic speaker. It turns ultrasonic waves we normally can’t even hear into full-frequency, hi-res audio with remarkable detail, the California-based semiconductor company said Tuesday.
The solid-state microspeaker, which will find its way into various companies’ earbuds and headphones — hello, AirPods? — generates low-frequency sound pressure for a full bass response, according to xMEMS Labs.
That makes the ultrasonic speaker a true replacement for legacy speaker technology that has only been refined, not replaced, since your great-grandparents rocked the Victrola.
Speaker design hasn’t changed much in decades. Most modern speakers are “dynamic speakers,” a design that hasn’t fundamentally changed since it was introduced in the 1930s. Dynamic speakers use a coil and magnet to vibrate a diaphragm to produce sound — including the tiny speakers found in AirPods. xMEMS Labs’ solid-state MEMs speakers are one of the first radically new designs in years.
MEMS stands for “microelectromechanical systems.” They add tiny circuitry to mechanical components. xMEMS Labs‘ new Cypress solid-state MEMS speaker replaces old-school push-air and moving-coil sound reproduction with an “ultrasonic amplitude modulation transduction principle.”