Taking the quality of TV audio to a whole new level with CSR’s MAPX™ and ZIRENE® SOUND by AM3D

AM3D is CSR's first partner to offer audio enhancement solutions on MAPX™, CSR's high quality audio system-on-chip (SoC) for soundbars, docking speakers, AV-receivers, home theatre systems, and integrated audio systems.

This is great news for developers of TVs and soundbars as the combination of the MAPX processing power and the audio expertise of AM3D's ZIRENE® SOUND solution will bring the sound quality of soundbars to an all new level. CSR spoke to Jacob N. Andersen, Senior Vice President at AM3D, to find out more about ZIRENE® SOUND, what the partnership means for the business and his outlook on audio industry trends.   

CSR: Can you please give a brief description of ZIRENE® SOUND?
AM3D: ZIRENE® SOUND is a HD quality audio enhancement solution. It significantly improves the output sound quality of audio playback devices such as smartphones, tablets, TVs, soundbars, Head Mounted Displays, headphones and other kinds of devices in which audio is an essential part of the user experience. The solution is purely software-based and easily integrated into a device.

CSR: How does it help manufacturers improve the audio quality on their products?
AM3D: The demand for small, slim and portable audio devices means that audio playback capabilities often differ significantly from those intended by the creators of the original media content. For example, stereo music and multi-channel audio are produced with specific loudspeaker arrangements in mind. These are not directly achievable with small devices or headphones. Other limitations may be caused by low acoustic output power or reduced bandwidth capability. To overcome the inherent performance limitations of audio devices, ZIRENE® SOUND offers state-of-the-art audio enhancement technologies to optimise the audio playback capabilities. ZIRENE® SOUND significantly increases the sound quality by post-processing the audio signal in the device. ZIRENE® SOUND includes high-quality features to:

  • Create surround sound virtually for headphones and stereo loudspeakers playback
  • Enhance audio content to boost voice dialog and equalise loudness differences
  • Enhance playback capabilities by equalising and boosting bass, treble and level

In addition to the ZIRENE® SOUND software solution, AM3D offers tuning tools for quick and easy adaption to each device model.

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CSR: In what ways is CSR MAPX helping to achieve this?
AM3D: CSR MAPX is a family of highly integrated SoC designed for audio applications. It offers such a large amount of processing power and professional audio interfaces that we were able to implement our algorithms on MAPX without compromising audio quality.
Furthermore, MAPX's extensible architecture means our algorithms can run in conjunction with other standard audio decoders, allowing cost-effective but fully-featured solutions based around one single chip.
Finally, MAPX's toolset allows us to tune our algorithms in real-time, thus considerably reducing the tuning effort required for each project.

CSR: How do you see the audio market developing in the next five years?
AM3D: After several years where audio has suffered with poor quality because of the demand for still smaller and slimmer devices, we see a market shift where audio once again will be used as an important competitive parameter when companies seek to differentiate their products. This shift is happening because thin high-resolution displays have become an everyday commodity. Manufacturers therefore need to come up with a new selling point as the wow-effect declines. Audio is the natural successor to fill up this wow-gap, as there is a demand for HQ audio and 3D audio from the manufacturers as well as the consumers. We believe that audio in the next five years will boom and take the market into a new dimension.

CSR: In what ways will your partnership with CSR help you achieve your own long-term objectives?
AM3D: Being part of CSR's eXtension partner program helps our unique audio software to reach a much wider range of consumers; CSR has a large choice of platforms for Soundbars, Speakers, Headsets and Home Theatre Systems, and AM3D's products are part of CSR's offering.