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Headsets Deliver FM to Mobile Devices, No Chip or Internet Required

Blackloud releases product details, pricing

With the NAB Show just around the corner, Blackloud has released additional details about its SounDot AF1 (for iPhones and iPads using the Lightning interface) and CF1 (for devices with USB Type C/USB Micro interfaces) headsets.

Clearly, these headsets are nothing like the ones you might remember from your first Sony Walkman. According to information provided by Blackloud, SounDots feature patented psychoacoustic technology, a six-band customizable graphic equalizer, 3D stereo effect, dual dynamic driver design, inline microphone, and a control box with a volume up (+), volume down (–) and multifunction (pause/play) button. This multifunction button enables many actions depending on the app that is running, including: answer/hang up a phone/video call, start/stop recording or playback using most any audio/video/camera app, enable/disable/seek up/down the FM tuner, and lastly, activate Siri or Google Assistant.

[Read: Blackloud Delivers Radio on Mobile Devices]

SounDots represent a collaboration between three companies, Austin, Texas-based Tempo Semiconductor and Silicon Labs, and Walnut, Calif.-based Blackloud. Tempo leveraged its headset reference designs (for Apple MFi Lightning and USB-C) to incorporate the FM reception chip (Silicon Labs Si4705 FM/RDS digital radio tuner) into the SounDot control box. Tempo also supplied complete schematics and layout reference files, customized microcontroller code for the Tempo TSCT8x audio hub controller, a high-efficiency TSCS25xx premium 32-bit audio codec with integrated DSP, and reference iOS and Android app source code. Silicon Labs also supplied its brand new CP2615 USB audio bridge for the CF1. That left Blackloud free to focus on the aesthetics, patented mechanical design, acoustics, fine-tuning the dual dynamic driver design and developing user-friendly iOS and Android apps for the SounDot headset family.

Taking advantage of its presence at the NAB show (Booth N6220), Blackloud will begin taking pre-orders of its SounDot AF1 and CF1 for $59.89, or about 25% off the list price of $79.89 on April 7. The pre-order special will last all of April, the company said, and applies to orders placed both at the show and online at from customers worldwide.

Shown below is a block diagram of the Lightning connector version with the FM tuner visible at center top.

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