THX AAA Headphone amplifier
Dec 25, 2016 at 8:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10


500+ Head-Fier
Aug 12, 2013
Surprised not to have seen anything about this new technology here.
THX, renowned for the certification of world-class cinemas and electronic devices, has partnered with Triad Semiconductor to manufacture its revolutionary TSTHX-88 headphone amplifier ASIC. According to THX, the THX AAA Headphone Amplifier technology offers the world’s lowest levels of distortion and noise alongside incredibly low power consumption and it outperforms every other amplifier technology in the marketplace.
The THX AAA amplifier is THX’s first foray into the arena of component technologies. “It reduces harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortions by 20-100x for an unbelievably realistic and fatigue-free listening experience, and reduces power consumption by a factor of 10 for incredibly long battery life. THX AAA accomplishes this using a patented topology to cancel conventional distortion mechanisms and reduce bias current. THX AAA improves audio fidelity, shrinks battery size and extends playtime. The flagship THXAAA-0 amplifier boasts nearly un-measurable distortion of -137 dB, high output power of 63 mW, and only 5 mW of quiescent power consumption,” the company states.

The device incorporates the ultra-low distortion Achromatic Audio Amplifier from THX Technology (THX AAA) to virtually eliminate crossover distortion and deliver superior THD and SNR at all output levels. The Class-G architecture maximizes battery life by automatically varying the supply voltage of the headphone amplifier based on the audio signal level. The ground-centered, “Capless” output implementation eliminates the need for large external DC-blocking capacitors between the audio amplifiers and the headphone loads to save board area, reduce cost, and improve low frequency audio fidelity.

The headphone amplifier features fully differential inputs with integrated low pass filtering to reduce system noise. Built-in active suppression eliminates clicks and pops as the amplifier is powered up and down. The amplifier outputs have robust short-circuit, thermal overload, and ESD protection.

“The THX brand is synonymous with uncompromised quality, best-in-class performance and consistency,” says Laurie Fincham, Senior Vice President of Audio Research and Development at THX. “We first introduced AAA technology in the Benchmark Media AHB2 Power Amplifier which was designed with low distortion and noise levels to meet the high demands of prosumers and studio settings. Now, we have adapted the technology to offer the same listening experience to consumers by minimizing the distortion while using less power and preserving more battery.”
“Following the announcement of THX AAA Headphone Amplifier technology, we are excited to name a top tier partner to bring THX AAA to market,” says Ty Ahmad-Taylor, CEO at THX. “Triad shares our passion for supporting innovation in AV technologies with our headphone amplifier OEMs and will be able to provide a new, previously unattainable level of listening experience for consumers.”
Leveraging THX AAA, the TSTHX-88 headphone amplifier ASIC reduces harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortions by 20x to less than -126 dB for the absolute best audio fidelity, and uses near-zero bias current and advanced Class G power management to dramatically decrease power consumption by 10x for incredibly long battery life. The TSTHX-88 also produces powerful performance with any headphone type, outputting a formidable 2.2 Volts rms into 300 Ohms and 2 x 63 milli-Watts into 16 Ohms. 

“TSTHX-88 enables exquisite sound quality, smaller batteries, extended playtime and is perfect for products such as digital and wireless headphones, noise-canceling headphones, VR headsets, portable media players, and premium notebooks and tablets,” THX says. 

“We are excited to work with THX to develop integrated devices that will deliver compelling THX AAA audio fidelity and low power operation to VR and wireless headset markets. Users will hear the difference and love the longer battery life that AAA audio delivers,” says Reid Wender, VP Sales and Marketing at Triad Semiconductor.
The TSTHX-88 is available in a tiny 25-bump wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP, 2.4mm x 2.4mm, 0.4mm pitch). The device operates from a 2.5V to 5.5V supply input and is specified over the -40oC to +85oC extended temperature range.
Feb 2, 2017 at 3:24 PM Post #5 of 10
Hi All,
THX will have the new line of AAA headphone amplifiers available for demo at CanJam NYC Feb 4-5, 2017.  These showcase the AAA technology's lowest distortion in the world, and extremely low power consumption.
We hope to see you there!

Andrew Mason
THX Ltd.
Apr 14, 2017 at 2:45 AM Post #6 of 10
I asked Triad Semiconductor: 
"Are there any plans to use the THX AAA amplifier in standalone audiophile amplifiers? Or to license the technology out to companies that make them?"
And a fellow named Reid replied: 
"The THX AAA will be used in standalone amps. Our initial IC is targeted at lower wattage headphone applications. Next gen devices will support higher power appropriate for standalone amps."
Hopefully we will see them soon!
Apr 21, 2017 at 9:01 PM Post #7 of 10
We are going full throttle to get samples of the TSTHX-88 out later this year.  We just had a great day of discussions with THX today hammering out details -- Hi Andrew!
This will be the coolest thing I've designed in years, and one of the most challenging ever.  Can't wait to hear it myself!
Mark Jones
Triad Semiconductor
Jul 24, 2017 at 6:48 PM Post #10 of 10
We are working on scheduling now, but we are shooting for samples in late 2017 or early 2018.

It may not be in the press releases yet, but the product will be released as a 2-chip solution to maximize performance and allow customers to have better flexibility of implementation. The amplifier chip and its companion power management chip will each be packaged in 5x4 bump WLCSP packages.

Users who are viewing this thread