Audio is a cornerstone of our smartphones, and we’re using our handsets for much more than voice calls these days. Music, video, and gaming use are all on the rise, and consumers are increasingly tuning in through their smartphone speakers. These new and growing use cases demand superior sounding speakers driven by new audio amplifier technologies.

A survey conducted by SAR Insight & Consulting for Cirrus Logic reveals that 58% of 1,722 respondents from the US, UK, Germany, South Korea, and China use their phone speakers when watching movies and TV, while 59% rely on their speakers when viewing video from social media. More than half of consumers are also turning to speakers when gaming and making video conferencing calls.

Perhaps most revealing of all, the survey notes that 40% of consumers reported an increase in their use of smartphone speakers over the past 12 months. Some of this increase is likely due to the nature of the pandemic lockdowns, with consumers spending more time at home using their smartphones for a wide range of audio-related functions, such as conference calls. But even so, these habits could well stick around in the coming years.

As you might expect, this change and growth in speaker habits is shifting consumer expectations regarding the quality of their mobile listening experience. Across these five countries, between 34% and 72% of survey respondents noticed mobile audio quality had become more important to them when making new smartphone purchase decisions. China is leading the charge here, with audio becoming an increasingly essential part in buying habits. So how do technology companies help smartphone designers build better audio systems?

Meet the Cirrus Logic CS35L45

Cirrus Logic CS35L45

Credit: Cirrus Logic

To help fulfill the need to deliver better audio from these global trends, Cirrus Logic has introduced its latest CS35L45 smart boosted power amplifier. The Cirrus Logic CS35L45 is a 15 volt smart boosted Class D audio amplifier designed for smartphones, tablets, and mobile gaming devices. Headline features include higher excursion for improved peak loudness, improved dynamic range for punchier bass, lower noise and audible distortion, and technology to ensure a consistent sound at both quiet and loud volumes. These are all very essential ingredients as we’re listening to our smartphones in speaker mode more often.

Diving deeper into the CS35L45, the smart amplifier can boost up to 15V for additional peak power when required. This helps ensure the speaker receives enough power at all frequencies when pumping up the volume. High power puts more strain on our portable batteries, so Cirrus Logic’s amplifier features built-in battery monitoring technology. This looks ahead to predict audio spikes and battery requirements to prevent pumping and clipping artifacts.

Read more: Big sound from tiny speakers: How smart power amplifiers make it happen

Cirrus Logic’s smart amplifier approach isn’t just about hardware — the CS35L45 also sports digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities. These include next-gen speaker protection algorithms, allowing the chip to push speakers to their limits without the risk of damage. Other DSP firmware features include frequency equalization and psychoacoustic performance enhancements to make small portable speakers sound huge, all without sacrificing battery power.

The bottom line is that smartphones powered by the CS35L45 will sound better and last longer on a single charge than ever before. The best part? You don’t have to wait to get your hands on a Cirrus Logic CS35L45 powered smartphone. It’s already powering the Asus ROG Phone 5’s stereo speaker setup.

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