03.04.2017

SoundChip unveils SoundPort – an All-in-One, Game-Changing Audio Jack Technology for Commercial Aviation

Hamburg, Germany, 3 April 2017 – SoundChip SA, a Swiss-based global leader in wearable sound technology and leading supplier of advanced audio solutions for inflight entertainment, today unveiled SoundPortTM – an audio jack technology which allows all known airline headphone formats, including powered and jack-enabled noise cancelling, and Panasonic HD-AUDIO™ models, to operate with an inflight entertainment system via a single USB-C connector.

Mark Donaldson, CEO of SoundChip, said, “SoundPort is a game-changer for airlines, supplanting large and expensive multi-socket audio jacks with a single USB-C connector that works with any airline headphone, including new digital models.”

Until now, to offer noise cancelling on-board, airlines have had little choice but to install audio jacks comprising a multiplicity of 3.5mm and 2.5mm audio sockets in either ARINC type C or D configurations. These jacks have proven to be unreliable, do not support digital audio, and often require enormous force to break the headphone’s plug away from the connector. SoundPort eliminates the need for large and expensive audio jacks by relying instead on the extensible capabilities of USB-C combined with SoundChip-patented electronics. SoundPort works with all airline headphone types, including powered and jack-enabled noise cancelling models, conventional stereo headphones, as well as next generation Panasonic HD AUDIO headsets, which bring several new features such as digital audio and voice telephony. SoundPort’s integrated electronics autonomously detect the type of headphone connected to the jack and route incoming and outgoing audio signals accordingly. For example, SoundPort provides power to noise cancelling headphones that include their own circuitry, whereas for noise cancelling headphones designed to operate with circuitry in the jack, SoundPort’s electronics perform the noise cancelling processing. For digital headsets, meanwhile, such as those compatible with Panasonic HD AUDIO, SoundPort passes digital signals to and from the headset and includes a powerful firewall to further protect inflight entertainment system data. To make any headphone compatible with SoundPort, including those already in use, requires the headphone’s cable to be swapped to one terminating in a USB-C connector – it’s that simple. SoundPort technology can be deployed in any panel-integrated and remote-jack configuration, including those which are form-and-fit replaceable with conventional USB-A, C and multi-socket jacks. Equipment manufacturers and airline customers wishing to learn more about SoundPort can visit SoundChip at Panasonic Avionics’ booth #4A10 or Long Prosper’s booth #1B80, during this week’s Aircraft Interiors Exhibition, or email their inquiry to hdaudio@soundchip.com.