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Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton

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HARMAN Announces Industry’s First Commercially Available Directional MEMS Microphones

CES 2014 - HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group (NYSE:HAR), announced today that it will be introducing the world’s first directional microphones based on MEMS technology. This family of designs that patents have already been applied for includes analog and digital unidirectional and noise-canceling type microphones with industry leading SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) of up to 68 dBA and frequency responses up to 20kHz.

Applications for the new, high-performance directional MEMS microphones are very broad and include wearable smart devices, PCs, smart TVs, gaming and set-top boxes, automotive speech input, video and audio conferencing, or any other application requiring high-quality, small form factor directional microphones.

Analog versions of these directional MEMS microphones are available for sampling immediately with mass production slated for the spring of 2014. Digital versions of directional MEMS microphones will be available for sampling next spring with mass production scheduled for the summer of 2014.

“The benefits of unidirectional and noise-canceling microphones to enhance signal quality have been leveraged for years in a variety of near-field and far-field audio-capture applications. Nevertheless, it was impossible to obtain unidirectional or noise-canceling characteristics from a single MEMS microphone until now,” said Michael Mauser, president, Lifestyle Division, HARMAN.

In the past, engineers and designers who needed both directionality and the benefits of MEMS’ small form factor had to implement microphone arrays that used two or more omnidirectional MEMS elements, plus digital signal processing beam-forming to achieve their design objectives. With HARMAN’s new offerings, however, it is now possible to achieve higher performance levels than such omnidirectional “array” solutions with a simpler, lower cost single MEMS microphone approach. Furthermore, unprecedented levels of audio quality and speech recognition accuracy can be achieved by arraying the HARMAN directional MEMS microphones.

HARMAN Embedded Audio (HEA), which was formed following the acquisition of MWM Acoustics by HARMAN in 2011, engineers, manufactures, and markets a wide range of leading-edge, sub-miniature microphones and speakers for an equally broad range of electronic devices. HEA also offers branded solutions based on the legendary brands of the HARMAN portfolio, including Infinity, JBL, and Harman Kardon. For more information about Directional MEMS microphones visit the HARMAN Embedded Audio website, www.harmanacoustics.com.

HARMAN at CES 2014

Visit HARMAN during CES 2014 at its showcase located at the Hard Rock Hotel for a demonstration of HARMAN’s full portfolio of infotainment, in-car audio and Lifestyle portable systems. Follow HARMAN online during CES 2014:

About HARMAN

HARMAN designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR. Please visit www.harman.com for more information.

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© 2014 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

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