The general rule of thumb is that the smaller it is, the crappier its built-in speaker will sound. But semiconductor maker NXP wants to change that with its new NXP TFA9887 IC chip that claims to boost the output power of tiny speakers from 0.5 watts to over 2.6 watts.
What it means to consumers is compact devices — like smartphones, tablets, and even portable consoles — with louder and deeper sound that doesn’t distort when cranked. And even more impressive is that the all-in-one chip can work its magic on existing speaker technology already in use.
In theory, a device can send as much power to its built-in speaker as it wants, but there’s the risk of destroying it in the process. So the audio usually has the powerful deep bass portions clipped for safety, which makes it sound awful. But the NXP TFA9887 incorporates sensors and temperature protection measures to ensure the audio can be driven as high as possible without the speaker hardware being damaged. So when it’s rolled out at the end of the year, you’ll finally be able to share those YouTube clips without the audio sounding like it’s coming from a tin-can telephone.