LISNR Lands Intel Capital and $10 Million in Series B Funding

A startup company LISNR has secured $10m in series B funding.

LISNR technology uses proprietary inaudible sound waves called SmartTones to connect devices. It works like existing technology protocol Bluetooth, except LISNR uses sound waves and does not require hardware or maintenance. Williams says LISNR technology has advantages over Bluetooth because it requires very little battery use and also boasts synchronization with a device in less than one-eighth of a second. Additionally, because the technology uses sound that you can’t hear, LISNR leverages existing hardware and network of audio that’s everywhere around us. This “speakernet” or “The Internet of Sound,” as Williams puts it, gives LISNR the ability to leverage a massive, existing network that’s all around us. “Anywhere there is a speaker or has the ability to broadcast audio, LISNR has the ability to turn that object or media into a data transmitting medium.”

Read the press release on the LISNR web site.

Scientific comparison of earphones

There are many online reviews of earphones that provide non-scientific opinions with comments such as “excellent bass response”, “clear mid-ranges”, and so on, without providing any measured results. As an engineer and a researcher, I find these unsubstantiated claims unsettling. We did a literature review on the internet to find articles that recommended low-price earphones and conducted instrumented testing.


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Siemen’s easyTek hearing aids

Siemen’s showed off their easyTek hearing aid system at the CES 2015 show this month, where one can change the directivity of the hearing aid microphones using the easyTek smartphone app for Apple iphones or Android devices. The plastic disk shown in the image connects the hearing aid to a bluetooth device such as a phone, MP3 player, TV etc, and permits the audio from the media player to be fed directly to the hearing aid.

New Loudspeakers

The CES 2015 show starts this week and there is sure to be a bevy of new audio gadgets.

Samsung will be showing off their new WAM 6500 and WAM 7500 loudspeakers.

Samsung WAM 6500

Samsung WAM 6500


Samsung WAM 7500

Samsung WAM 7500

Some other new freaky-shaped loudspeakers that are on the market include the Om One and the Mars.

The Om One from Om Audio is a levitating loudspeaker is available for pre-order for $US 199. Apart from playing music from a bluetooth device, it can also be used as a speakerphone.


Om One from Om Audio

Om One from Om Audio

You can watch a promo video on the development of the Om One on youtube.

Another similar levitating speaker product is from Crazybaby in Hong Kong that has developed the Mars loudspeaker. The base station houses a sub-woofer, the floating disc that radiates sound is water-proof. The device has some nifty features that can be used for conference calls, and will automatically adjust the volume depending on the proximity of your bluetooth source from the base station. The loudspeaker is available for pre-order at $US 189 from the Crazybaby web site.

Mars levitating loudspeaker

Mars levitating loudspeaker

Sony’s Vibration Headphones


Sony have released a pair of headphones, MDR-XB450BV , where presumably the -V means vibration. They have a suggested retail price of $A 130. What makes these headphones interesting is Sony’s claim of a frequency response from 5Hz-22,000Hz – note that humans are not good at detecting sounds below 20Hz, and it is difficult to hear above 16kHz.

Portable Electrostatic Loudspeakers

Benq Trevolo Electrostatic loudspeaker

The Benq company has released a stylish portable electrostatic loudspeaker system called the treVolo. The name treVolo comes from “tre” is the sum of three Es: Electrostatic, Enjoyment and Everywhere and the Italian word “Volo”, which means flight.

The electrostatic panels radiate sound forwards and backwards behind the speaker, which creates a large “sound image”.

The BenQ’s Trevolo electrostatic speaker has a recommended retail price of $399.


[ If you are interested in other electrostatic loudspeakers see the In2uit Filo speakers. ]