Austria-based USound, an audio company, announced that it has secured €10M in a round of funding to ramp-up production of its true-wireless-stereo (TWS) earbuds and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
The round was led by eQventure, a prominent venture capital investor in Austria. Andreas “Andy” Bechtolsheim, ARM co-founder Hermann Hauser, USound’s executive team consisting of CEO Ferruccio Bottoni, CTO Andrea Rusconi-Clerici, and CFO Herbert Gartner also participated in the round.
The company also announced a collaboration with partners to develop and deliver a reference design for a cutting-edge OTC hearing aid in March. The collaboration involves USound’s newest Kore 4.0 audio module, ASE Chun-Li’s compact Bluetooth Micro SiP and OBO Pro2’s hearing aid design expertise,
“We are thrilled to partner with OBO Pro2 and ASE Chung-Li to create a state-of-the-art over-the-counter hearing aid that meets the needs of millions of people suffering from hearing loss worldwide,” says Bottoni.
He also highlights the combination of USound’s Kore 4.0 module with ASE’s latest Bluetooth Micro SiP. According to him, it guarantees an exceptional audio experience.
The CEO also praises OBO Pro2’s hearing aid design expertise, which has ensured that the device is user-friendly and comfortable to wear.
The company claims that Kore 4.0 audio module provides excellent Sound-Pressure-Level (SPL) across the entire audio range from 20Hz to 20kHz and boasts low power consumption. It can be tailored to suit medium and high-volume requirements and easily integrates with any Bluetooth System-on-a-Chip (SoC).
Besides manufacturing hearing aids, USound also develops and supplies MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) speakers for wearable and hearable devices.
According to the company, USound’s MEMS speakers come with numerous features that set them apart from its competitors, such as being 50 per cent smaller, consuming 80 per cent less energy and having a broader frequency range.
These speakers can be easily incorporated into various audio devices, including Bluetooth earphones, headphones, smartphones, VR/AR glasses, wearables, and over-the-counter hearing aids.
In March, USound introduced the Active Linearisation Algorithm (ALA), an innovative signal processing tool designed to minimise MEMS speakers’ total harmonic distortion (THD). The company claims this software tool sets unprecedented benchmarks in advancing OTC hearing aids and high-fidelity true TWS headphones.
USound’s ALA can enhance the THD performance of an already optimised system. By digitally compensating for speaker non-linearities, ALA aids developers in achieving even lower THD levels and elevating the audio quality of the final product.
In October last year, USound launched the Tarvos 1.0 ASIC Linear Audio Amplifier, specifically designed to power its MEMS speakers in hearables and wearables. This amplifier provides superior performance with ultra-low power consumption. It results in longer battery life for personal devices.
The company collaborated with Chinese company Luxshare-ICT, a supplier of global consumer electronics brands, for its next-generation TWS earbuds in November last year.
The collaboration aspires to introduce an ultra-compact hybrid audio module with dual-driver technology. It integrates two micro speakers into one earbud to enhance bass and clear vocals.