SoundChip to Supply Modules, Services and Tools to Streamline development and production of Panasonic HD-AUDIO™ Compatible Headsets

Hamburg, Germany, 9 April 2014 – SoundChip SA, a Swiss-based innovator in wearable sound technology and originator of the High Definition Personal Audio™ (HD-PA®) Reference, today announced that it will supply headphone manufacturers with modules, calibration services and production tools to streamline the development and manufacturing of Panasonic HD-AUDIO™ compatible headsets.

Panasonic HD-AUDIO™ provides airlines with a High Definition (HD) audio capability that offers several breakthrough features in a format optimised for commercial aviation.

The solution comprises a digital headset, which connects to the IFEC system via a standard USB connector. Software installed at each seat controls the streaming of audio between the IFEC system’s media and telecommunications services and the connected headset. Passengers control their listening experience through intuitive controls, which are embedded into their touch panel display.

By embracing an entirely digital approach, Panasonic HD-AUDIO offers unprecedented sound quality that is free of clicks, pops and interference. Its digital design also supports the implementation of advanced features, including digital hybrid active noise cancelling, digital surround sound, wide band voice telephony, open-ear listening, and headset fault reporting via BITE.

Panasonic HD-AUDIO compatible headsets comprise a proprietary electronics module, which incorporates the digitally programmable circuitry and acoustic sensors needed to enable the system’s core audio features. To function correctly, however, each module must firstly be configured to match the audio capabilities of the headset, and then calibrated in response to the headset’s unique electroacoustic design.

To support headphone manufacturers streamline this process, SoundChip will not only supplies modules, which enable headsets with Panasonic HD-AUDIO, but will also configure and calibrate their settings to ensure compatibility and optimise performance.

SoundChip will offer a range of modules and module designs, extending from an entry level model, which offers digital connectivity and basic features, to a premium model, enabling all features and capabilities of the system. Such an approach will provide airlines and headphone manufacturers with the ability to service passengers with Panasonic HD-AUDIO in all classes of the airplane.

To support product manufacture, SoundChip will supply proprietary production tools, which have been designed to test the conformance of candidate headsets against prescribed performance and interoperability criteria. These tools can also produce Certificates-of-Conformity (CoC’s) for those headsets that pass, and these may be electronically distributed to the airline to improve product traceability and quality assurance.

Mark Donaldson, CEO of SoundChip said, “Panasonic HD-AUDIO is set to revolutionise in-flight audio. We are committed to supporting headphone manufacturers embrace this exciting new technology and, in doing so, strengthening their capabilities in production, quality and design.”

Headset vendors may register their interest in developing and manufacturing Panasonic HD-AUDIO compatible headsets by contacting a SoundChip sales representative at hdaudio@soundchip.ch.