Superior Diaphragm Material: Explore 3 Key Advantages of Silicon

Superior Diaphragm Material: Explore 3 Key Advantages of Silicon

By: Mike Housholder, xMEMS Labs, Inc.

Explore Advantages of Using Silicon Diaphragms in xMEMS’ MEMS Speakers

From customers to journalists, from engineers to audiophiles, everyone is left astounded by the unrivaled audio quality delivered by xMEMS’ patented all silicon MEMS speakers. While they readily acknowledge the superior audio experience delivered by our MEMS micro speakers, many of them seek deeper insights into the underlying factors that contribute to this remarkable acoustic performance.

In this blog post series, we delve into the reasons why xMEMS’ true MEMS speakers offer exceptional audio quality and uncover the distinct advantages of our MEMS micro speakers over voice-coil speaker technologies, including dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers. In this month’s blog post, we take you on a journey into the advantages of using silicon as a diaphragm material.

Superior Diaphragm Material: Silicon Sounds Purer

Unlike traditional speaker diaphragms made from paper and plastic, xMEMS utilizes silicon as the diaphragm material. This strategic choice plays a pivotal role in addressing material stiffness issues and delivering unparalleled clarity and fidelity. Let’s explore how the use of silicon as a diaphragm material elevates the consumer audio experience.

1. Addressing Material Stiffness Challenges

The use of paper and plastic as diaphragm materials in traditional speakers introduces inherent limitations due to their low material stiffness factor. This can result in the speaker break-up phenomenon, where the diaphragm experiences non-uniform excursion, leading to a muddy sound reproduction. By employing silicon as the diaphragm material, xMEMS speakers effectively overcome these challenges. The excellent material stiffness properties of silicon ensure the diaphragm remains uniform, resulting in clear and accurate sound reproduction.

2. Unleashing the Full Spectrum of Sound in Personal Audio Devices

The choice of diaphragm material significantly influences the ability of speakers to reproduce the full spectrum of sound. In the hi-end tower speaker market, where the emphasis is on high-quality audio, materials with a high Young’s Modulus (material stiffness factor) are commonly used in midrange and tweeter drivers [1]. This is done to mitigate the speaker break-up phenomenon and achieve the best possible sound quality. While paper and plastic may suffice for woofers and subwoofers, midrange and tweeter drivers require more exotic materials to avoid break-up effects. By utilizing silicon as the diaphragm material, xMEMS speakers deliver impeccably accurate and clear midrange and treble presence providing earbud users with a seamless and immersive sound experience that faithfully represents the artist’s intent.

3. Striking the Perfect Balance of Stiffness and Weight Properties

Break-up is a function of material stiffness and weight, and better materials can help to eliminate break-up effects or push break-up to higher, less critical frequency ranges. One of the key advantages of silicon diaphragms in xMEMS speakers lies in their ability to strike the perfect balance between excellent material stiffness and weight properties. This optimal combination enables the speakers to effortlessly reproduce the entire spectrum of sound, from midrange to high frequencies preventing distortions that could compromise audio quality.

Figure 1: Material stiffness chart of silicon vs. typical speaker diaphragm materials

By choosing silicon as the diaphragm material, xMEMS speakers set a new standard in sound clarity and fidelity. The superior material stiffness and weight properties of silicon overcome the limitations of paper and plastic, ensuring uniform excursion of the diaphragm, and resulting in an extraordinary audio experience that is designed for high-resolution audio for personal audio devices.

About xMEMS

Founded in January 2018, xMEMS Labs is reinventing sound with the world’s first solid-state True MEMS speakers for TWS and other personal audio devices. xMEMS has over 100 granted patents worldwide for its technology. The innovative, monolithic transduction architecture implements both actuation and diaphragm in silicon producing the world’s fastest and most precise micro speakers, eliminating spring and suspension recovery of coil speakers. This results in the most accurate time domain music reproduction, unmatched sound clarity, and an elevated sense of space. Please contact us to learn more.

[1] Bowers & Wilkins: The Continuum Cone;


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