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: Entrepreneur builds a sleek ship, but will anyone buy it?

More information: Murata's press release: www.murata.com/new/news_releas… 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

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

Dec 20, 2014

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

Dec 19, 2014

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.