Google could develop better headphones after Synaptics acquisition - MrLiambi's blog


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Thursday 3 March 2022

Google could develop better headphones after Synaptics acquisition

Google has been on a bit of a shopping spree lately, spending tens of millions buying up talent, technology and IP in the field of audio hardware.

There are a number of reasons for the tech giant to do this, the most obvious of which is to bolster the brand's wireless earbuds.

Google reportedly spent $35 million acquiring hardware patents and patent applications from longtime partner Synaptics.

These covered things like "Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds" and "Balanced stereo headphones".

Given the company's recent disputes with Sonos, it could be a wise move indeed.

It wasn't just the patents that Google gobbled up, though, it also acquired multiple staff members from Synaptics' audio hardware teams.

The most high-profile of which was the VP and GM of Audio, Trausti Thormundsson.

Google also acquired a 3D audio startup called Dysonics for an undisclosed sum. This deal, too, included patents and staff members.

Following this, Google then bought up the IP of RevX, a defunct audio startup that focused on optimising in-ear monitors for on-stage musicians.

Finally, it purchased a French audio startup called Tempow, which had been developing an operating system for wireless earbuds.

The deal cost $17.4 million and included patents and applications for things like "low latency Bluetooth earbuds". The majority of Tempow's staff members also ended up at Google.

Alongside all of these acquisitions, Google also hired ex-Bose engineer Peter Liu, who had participated in developing the Bluetooth LE standard.

It's easy to see, then, why we're excited about the future of audio at Google. All signs point to a serious refresh of the Pixel Buds and, most likely, an expansion of the brand's wearable audio offerings. We can't wait to see where it goes.

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