The new Maxim smart amp may improve bass and volume in the device speakers of the future
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If there's one tenet that applies to nearly every single Notebookcheck review, it is that the product's speakers could be better - particularly in terms of their bass reproduction. Maxim has released a new generation of smart amplifiers that may solve this apparently inescapable issue with speakers that need to be ultra-compact so as to fit into inexorably slimmer and slimmer form-factors.
This component, the MAX98390, is intended to solve the problem of the resulting potential for quiet or weak audio. The company is directing this new digital Class D smart-amp at manufacturers who integrate speakers that put out 1 to 3 watts (W) of audio power. Maxim claims that the MAX98390 can increase this to as much as 5.1W, at an energy cost of as little as ~24mW (the new "lowest [quiescent power level] on the market").
Maxim asserts that the new amp will do this through its integrated Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) algorithm. It may help to increase loudness (in terms of sound pressure level (SPL)) by up to 2.5 times, while bringing the pitch of the applicable bass down by as much as 2 octaves. These figures are relative to conventional 5-volt amps.
The MAX98390 can be purchased from Maxim's website at US$1.95 per compooent, or $200 for an entire MAX98390EVSYS evaluation kit.