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Knowles Launches the Most Advanced Audio Solution for Hearables and Premium Earphones

July 20, 2016

Versant advanced voice technology delivers clearer voice quality and superior sound quality anytime, anywhere

ITASCA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 20, 2016-- Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and specialty component solutions, today announced the launch of Versant™ advanced voice technology, the most advanced audio solution for hearables and premium earphones that optimizes the user’s voice in noisy environments, such as wind or crowds.

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Versant™ advanced voice technology is the most advanced audio solution for hearables and premium ear ...

Versant™ advanced voice technology is the most advanced audio solution for hearables and premium earphones that optimizes the user’s voice in noisy environments, such as wind or crowds. (Photo: Business Wire)

This breakthrough technology offers clear advantages over existing approaches to voice capture in noisy and windy environments, and enables smaller, more elegant product designs, as well as the freedom for hands-free voice control. Versant advanced voice technology outperforms premium headsets in every tested environment (see Chart A). In 2015, 65 percent of smartphone owners reported using voice assistants, more than doubling from users reporting in 20131. With the demand for hands-free control of a device increasing at a rapid pace, Versant is well positioned to address users’ toughest challenges.

Chart A: Performance Levels Across Applications

             
Environments  

Standard
Headset

 

Premium Headset
without Versant

 

Premium Headset
with Versant

Quiet Environments   High   High   High
Busy Café   Low   Medium   Medium
Inside a Vehicle   Low   Medium   High
Urban Environments   Low   Medium   High
Low Wind (<5 mph)   Low   Medium   High
Higher-Speed Wind (>15+ mph)   Low   Low   High
     

“Knowles’ decades of audio experience in hearing health and consumer markets places us in an ideal position to solve the challenges faced by hearable innovators,” said Tom Stroebel, senior director, Intelligent Audio, Knowles Corporation. “With at least one microphone facing the outside world and another in the ear canal, Versant advanced voice technology leverages Knowles’ unique expertise in acoustics, audio engineering, signal processing and best-in-class algorithm development to radically improve voice communication, and is a disruptive leap forward for the industry. The technology’s performance in crowds or in moderate-to-high winds adds a critical benefit for next-generation hearable devices. It also enables manufacturers to create beautiful designs with the smallest possible form factor.”

The Versant solution uses a unique combination of multiple Knowles’ SiSonic™ MEMS microphones, specifically combined with a best-in-class noise suppression algorithm to detect the user’s voice and environmental noise. The solution continuously captures the most desirable audio and filters background noise to deliver improved voice quality despite noise in the Versant-enabled device’s surroundings. The engineered solution, with multiple patents pending, is typically paired with and enabled by a very small, high-performance balanced armature speaker to reduce the overall size and power consumption, and offer a premium listening experience.

Existing users and new customers of Munich-based, Bragi’s inaugural product, The Dash, are now experiencing the benefits of Versant advanced voice technology from Knowles. Versant was added to The Dash as part of the latest software upgrade issued on July 12, 2016. For more information about Versant advanced voice technology visit: Knowles.com/Versant.

About Knowles

Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) is a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and specialty component solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, military, aerospace, and industrial markets. Knowles uses its leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize audio systems and improve the user experience in smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Knowles is also the leader in acoustics components used in hearing aids and has a strong position in high-end oscillators (timing devices) and capacitors. Knowles’ focus on the customer, combined with unique technology, proprietary manufacturing techniques, rigorous testing and global scale, enables it to deliver innovative solutions that optimize the user experience. Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Knowles has employees in 15 countries around the world. For more information, visit knowles.com.

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1 Thrive Analytics, “Local Search Reports” 2013-2015 Note: Results highlighted in these charts are from the 2013, 2014, and/or 2015 Local Search surveys. These surveys were conducted via an online panel with representative sample sizes for the national population in the US. There were 1,102, 2,058, and 2,125 US smartphone owners that completed the surveys in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Source: Knowles Corporation

Knowles Financial Contact:
Mike Knapp
Knowles Investor Relations
(630) 238-5236
mike.knapp@knowles.com
or
Knowles Media Contact:
Roxanne Pipitone
Knowles Global Communications
(630) 238-5257
roxanne.pipitone@knowles.com

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