The Headphones That Even A DJ Can’t Break. According to BBC before the coronavirus pandemic hit Annee Frankenstein would be DJ-ing in clubs or bars most Friday and Saturday nights. When she was asked if she misses it, she bumps into laughter “ not really, I kind of prefer the quiet life. I think I was playing a few too many gigs before lockdown. It’s been nice to just enjoy music at my own pace”, said by Anne.
Anne has a day job, a mid-morning show on Jazz FM. Just as making life hectic, those gigs took a toll on her kit, in particular headphones. She has totally damaged headphones before, by overuse and crushing them accidentally.
So after she learned her lesson she stopped spending much on headphones for work. She gets a nice cheap, robust pair of headphones that isolate the sound well enough for her to hear adequately.
The Headphones That Even A DJ Can’t Break
One of the things that make headphones delicate is the several moving part it has within. There’s no much change in the principle behind the moving part because speakers were first introduced in the 20th century.
When you pass an electrical current through a coil of wire placed close to the magnet, you can make the coil move. To make it move, you will need to attach a thin sheet of material (diaphragm) to the coil and it will make a vibration sound.
However, over the years, the moving coil system has become more sophisticated. There are better materials and electronics that have improved the quality of the sound, and speakers shrunk to a size that fit into the ear.
Though, there are still other moving parts in modern headphones that can be broken.
xMEM Merged Six Tiny Speakers On One Chip
A Silicon Valley Firm, xMEMs makes promises of making headphones more robust, with the thought that it the technology can revolutionize the headphones market.
The Piezoelectric effect- the heart of its tech. If you bend some materials, they produce an electric current and the reverse is true as well, if you pass an electric current through them they bend. For years the bendiness has been exploited to make sounds, however, the sound has been unsophisticated.
Current developments in materials have changed things. xMEMs has refined the technique and says its speakers can match the best sound produced the local way.
Their speaker is very small and can function in the same manner as that of a computer chip. Six of the tiny speakers can sit on one chip and, with everything in a place, the device is robust and waterproof.
VP Marketing at xMEMs, Mike Householder says “ you’re getting next level mechanic shock resistance. You can drop a tray of these on the earbud assembly line, they’re not going to break.” He added, “ they also promise to be more effective at noise canceling, which is important for those who fly or use other public transport.”
Mr. Mike expects the first headphones to use his company tech to hit the market next April.
xMEMs Speakers Can Be Made Just Like Computer Chip
An audio engineer, Kelvin Griffiths says it’s an exciting technology. Thus, while he can see the potential advantages of such a system, he is also cautious. He said that traditional moving coil speakers have been evaluated over decades, the kind of scrutiny which xMEMs about to pass through.
He continued “ Any advantage would need to be clear and useful because moving coil loudspeakers are just one of those technologies that just seems to be a good fit for lots of applications.
Mr. Hiromichi Ozawa The manager of headphone research and development at Audio Technica, Japan’s largest seller of headphones. He worked in product development for over thirty years.
However, during that period he has seen lots of innovations. He remembers in the 1990s developing a wooden casing for mass-market headphones. “Wooden housing had interesting acoustic qualities and added a certain aesthetic pleasure to the listening experience. We wanted more people to experience this unique, natural sound.”
He said that the main challenge Headphones makers have is ty maintain sound quality while building in extra features, like a wireless connection. According to him, reproducing intricate instrumental music is a key test for speakers. He has been using Mozart’s piano sonata, played by Ingrid Haebler, to test the sound quality of the new headphones for thirty years.