Mercedes chooses SMSC tech for wireless headphones

SMSC has announced that its Kleer wireless audio technology has been selected by Daimler AG as part of the rear seat entertainment system for the company’s 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class models.

These two Mercedes-Benz models are the first automobiles to implement Kleer technology and add to the growing list of products consumers can choose from to enjoy the high quality wireless audio that Kleer can offer.

Kleer technology transmits CD-quality digital wireless audio from two video screens on the back of the seats to multiple wireless headphones in both the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class models. Each screen can display different content and occupants can select which audio stream their headphones receive.

Multiple occupants can share the same stream. The ultra low power consumption of Kleer technology ensures many hours of enjoyment before headphone battery charging is needed. Mercedes-Benz owners have the choice of using the brand’s headphones provided with the car or using their favorite third-party Kleer-based headphones or earbuds as they are available for example from AKG, Sennheiser or TDK.

Kleer wireless audio technology resolves the issues associated with analog Infra-Red (IR) technology, which has been the primary technology used in wireless automotive headphones to date. Analog IR transmission of audio suffers from low quality audio, interference from visible light sources like sunlight, and high power consumption. It also requires an uninterrupted line-of-sight path from transmitter to receiver. Kleer addresses these issues and adds the ability to have multiple audio streams transmitting in the vehicle simultaneously.

In addition to its high audio quality and low power consumption, Kleer technology also offers excellent Wi-Fi and Bluetooth co-existence capabilities. This means that the vehicle’s infotainment system, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices can all be used simultaneously in the vehicle with no interference.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class also feature the MOST multimedia networking standard, which is the de facto standard for efficiently moving high-bandwidth infotainment content around the vehicle. MOST and Kleer are synergistic technologies. While MOST represents the backbone of the whole infotainment system and moves all signal streams between the devices, Kleer is the high quality wireless link for headphones and remote controls.

Source: SMSC.

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