Knowles Announces First Amazon-Qualified Development Kit for Wake-on-Voice Alexa Headsets

AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit Supports Alexa With Lowest
Power Voice Activation, Eliminating the Need for Push-to-Talk Activation

ITASCA, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN), a market leader and global provider of
advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device
solutions, today announced that it has developed a new hands-free
reference solution to enable OEMs and ODMs to build headphones, headsets
and wireless earbuds that allow users to talk directly to Alexa. The
Knowles AISonic™ SmartMic Headset Development Kit for the Alexa Voice
Service (AVS) brings users natural access to the service’s capabilities
by simply saying the “Alexa” wake word. This means customers can play
music, place calls, access skills, and more – hands-free. The solution
is fully compliant with the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) protocol for
Bluetooth accessories, and enables the industry’s lowest power which is
necessary for wake-on-voice functionality in a small battery operated

This Development Kit includes the Knowles AISonic IA611 SmartMic, which
integrates a low power audio edge processor inside a tiny microphone.
All wake-word detection, identification of the voice wake word and local
voice command processing is performed in the SmartMic and interfaces to
the Bestechnic BES2000i Bluetooth System-on-Chip, which controls overall
headset functionality and provides Bluetooth and BLE connectivity.
Retune DSP VoiceSpot™ technology provides the voice trigger and commands
in the SmartMic Development Kit platform.

“Anker is committed to providing affordable, high-quality devices that
consumers love,” said Rock Gao, General Manager of headphone BG at
Anker. “The growth of Amazon Alexa in the market creates a great
opportunity for innovative accessories and the Knowles AISonic SmartMic
Headset Development Kit for Amazon AVS will speed our time-to-market and
help us meet the growing demand for true wireless earbuds and headset
solutions with Alexa built-in.”

Enabling speech recognition and voice control on a headset creates new
challenges that smart speakers in a home do not experience. Acoustic
background distractors such as car noise, restaurant and bar “babble”
and street noise need to be minimized to enable effective voice
recognition performance while on-the-go. Knowles’ AISonic solution is
processed at the edge, designed to recognize the Alexa wake word and
deliver speech requests for processing in these noisy, real-world
environments without deteriorating the device’s battery life.

“As a turnkey solution provider and a leading system integrator of
Alexa, Linkplay is looking forward to being an early integrator of
Wake-on-Voice for Amazon Alexa Headsets using the SmartMic Development
Kit,” said Linkplay CEO, Lifeng Zhao. “This solution will help us bring
true wireless, hands-free, wake-on-voice headsets and earbuds for Alexa
Voice Service to market in the shortest time possible. It is a great
opportunity for our customers to deliver products early as demand ramps.”

Bluetooth headsets built with the SmartMic Development Kit connect
directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Alexa app for Android
and iOS. End users who install the Alexa app can access Alexa features
people know and love, including music playback, smart home control,
calendar management, access to tens of thousands of Alexa skills, and
more – hands-free. Users will be able to simply ask “Alexa, what time is
it in Singapore?” without lifting a finger. When listening to music the
user can naturally increase volume, change songs, or pause the music,
all using just their voice. When a phone call is received during music
playback, the music is muted, and the user can “Answer” or “Ignore” the
call, which is managed locally through the phone.

“Our voice-enabled AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Amazon
AVS is redefining the Alexa user experience for ear-worn consumer
products,” said Michael Maia, Product Line Vice President at Knowles.
“This design provides the first turnkey wake-on-voice, AVS-qualified
platform for Alexa-enabled headsets and hearables, enabling
manufacturers and developers to quickly integrate Alexa into their smart
headsets and eliminate inconvenient push-to-talk interfaces. The
Bluetooth headset market is growing rapidly and with the addition of a
natural user interface, the AISonic SmartMic platform, with our
leading-edge audio edge processor, enables the next must-have feature in
true wireless earbuds, sports, neckband, and over-the-ear headsets.”

“Knowles’ AISonic development kit makes it easier for device makers to
quickly and cost-effectively launch headsets with hands-free Alexa
experiences,” said Priya Abani, Director, Alexa Voice Service. “We’re
thrilled that Knowles is committed to creating voice-first solutions
that help developers save time and money building new devices for Alexa.”

Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset Development Kit for Amazon AVS is
available to order directly from Knowles.

To learn more, please visit

About Knowles

Knowles Corporation (NYSE: KN) is a market leader and global provider of
advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device
solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications,
medical, defense, automotive, and industrial markets. Knowles uses its
leading position in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) microphones
and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize
audio systems and improve the user experience in mobile, ear, and IoT
applications. Knowles is also the leader in acoustic components,
high-end capacitors, and mmWave RF solutions for a diverse set of
markets. Knowles’ focus on the customer, combined with unique
technology, proprietary manufacturing techniques, rigorous testing, and
global scale, enables it to deliver innovative solutions that optimize
the user experience. Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca,
Illinois, Knowles is a global organization with employees in 11
countries. The company was spun out from Dover Corporation in 2014 and
has been focused on reshaping its business portfolio and investing in
high value solutions to diversify its revenue and increase exposure to
high-growth markets. For more information, visit


Mike Knapp
Knowles Investor Relations
Phone: (630) 238-5236

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