Posted in | MEMS - NEMS

Knowles Reaches Milestone with Shipment of Two Millionth MEMS Microphone for Hearing Instruments

Knowles Corporation achieved a major milestone in the hearing health industry by shipping its two millionth MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) microphone for hearing instruments.

Knowles is the world’s largest supplier of MEMS microphone technology for electronics and the first company to successfully develop MEMS microphones for hearing instruments.

The hearing health industry started to adopt MEMS microphones in 2010, and as the industry’s most advanced supplier, Knowles surpassed the one million mark for distribution in November 2013. The company reached the two million milestone four times faster due to the company’s dedication to continuous advancement and increased customer demand.

The development of the MQM MEMS microphone series, the world’s smallest and most production-friendly hearing instrument microphone, aided this volume milestone. The engineers at Knowles developed the MQM series to provide best-in-class acoustic performance for users, including a high signal-to-noise ratio and unmatched environmental robustness. The small size positions it as an attractive design for manufacturers and the ability to be surface mounted simplifies the hearing aid assembly process.

“Achieving this milestone in the hearing health category reflects the growing demand for solutions with superior performance and easy manufacturing integration,” said Gordon Walker, Knowles’ Co-President of Specialty Components. “Our commitment to the industry makes us the only company with mature, highly customizable, and market-proven MEMS manufacturing processes focused on the hearing instrument space.”

Knowles’ patented technology, which is used in the majority of hearing health products on the market, has enabled technology leaps in hearing health innovation over the past 60 years. Starkey Hearing Technologies was the first manufacturer to adopt Knowles’ MEMS technology for hearing aids and continues to use it in several of their premium products.

Knowles is also the producer of MEMS microphones in the GN ReSound LiNX™ and Beltone First™, the world’s first Made for iPhone® hearing aid. The MEMS microphone’s size enables GN ReSound to develop the smallest hearing instrument on the market with the best sound experience1.

“Knowles continues to innovate and enhance MEMS technology to produce the highest-quality sound performance for hearing aid users,” said Brian Crannell, Senior Director of Marketing & Business Development, Specialty Components. “Our engineering expertise and rigorous testing allows us to consistently deliver microphones with the best performance in the world and most manufacturing flexibility.”

Product Details

  • Product: MQM series
  • Measurements: 3.35 x 2.50 x 0.96 mm

Product Features

  • Smallest MEMS microphone for hearing instruments
  • Low vibration sensitivity
  • Unmatched environmental stability
  • Reflow soldering compatible
  • Zero-height PCB mount or traditional tubed options

Technical Data

  • Sensitivity: -58.5kHz
  • Directional: Omni-directional
  • Peak frequency: 14000
  • Equivalent Input Noise (dBA): 26


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