Japanese company develops world's first ultra-thin piezoelectric waterproof speaker

Jun 15, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a company based in Kyoto in Japan, has made what they claim to be the world's first ultra-thin (0.9 mm thick) waterproof piezoelectric speaker.

Mobile phones and other small portable devices that are not waterproofed can become damaged if they are exposed to water, which can erode components inside and affects the sound quality. Now the practice of waterproofing devices such as mobile phones is growing, with almost a quarter of new models announced for 2010 in Japan being waterproofed, but there are significant technical challenges to be overcome, especially in waterproofing of the speaker, which can be exposed to moisture entering via the sound output holes.

Traditional solutions such as covering sound output holes with thin waterproof sheets of treated paper not only increases costs, but also usually lead to degradation of the sound quality. Murata has responded to this problem by developing a new piezoelectric speaker that is itself waterproof to IXP7 grade, which means the sound holes do not need to be covered.

Piezoelectric make use of the mechanical resonance of piezoelectric ceramics. They can be much thinner than ordinary speakers, down to as thin as 0.5 mm. Their use can also dramatically reduce , especially in the voice band.

The new speakers do not use waterproof sheets, and the manufacturing process is cheaper and does not result in loss of because the sound holes are not covered. The design of the sound holes has also been re-engineering to avoid ingress of moisture.

The speakers could be used in devices such as mobile phones, portable music players, ebook readers, digital video cameras, and military applications. Production is already running at around one million units per month, and the speakers are available for 250 Yen each (approximately $2.70 US). They should start appearing in mobile devices in the near future.

Explore further: Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

More information: Murata's press release: www.murata.com/new/news_release/2010/0608/index.html

Related Stories

Nanotech Speakers Hold Promise for Sonar Uses

Jun 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- UT Dallas researchers have found that carbon nanotube sheets perform well as underwater sound generators and noise-canceling speakers, two highly desirable traits for submarine sonar and stealth ...

RBH Adds Five New Speakers to Their Signature Line

Sep 03, 2008

RBH has just announced that they are adding five new speakers to their Signature Line. These five new speakers were made to compliment RBH´s existing Signature Reference freestanding lineup.

Recommended for you

Lifting the brakes on fuel efficiency

Apr 18, 2014

The work of a research leader at Michigan Technological University is attracting attention from Michigan's Governor as well as automotive companies around the world. Xiaodi "Scott" Huang of Michigan Tech's ...

Large streams of data warn cars, banks and oil drillers

Apr 16, 2014

Better warning systems that alert motorists to a collision, make banks aware of the risk of losses on bad customers, and tell oil companies about potential problems with new drilling. This is the aim of AMIDST, the EU project ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PPihkala
not rated yet Jun 15, 2010
I think that should be IPX7 instead of IXP7. IPXY is standard to tell the protection against dust (X) and water (Y). IPX7 means unspecified protection against dust, but very good protection against water.

More news stories

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.