Low-Power Audio CODEC with DirectDrive Headphone Amplifiers

Highly Integrated CODEC Offers the Flexibility in Features to Adequately Address a Wide Variety of Portable Audio Applications

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The MAX9856 is a high-performance, low-power stereo audio CODEC designed for MP3, personal media players (PMPs), or other portable multimedia devices. Using on-board stereo DirectDrive® headphone amplifiers, the CODEC can output 30mW into stereo 32Ω headphones while operating from a single 1.8V power supply. Very low 9mW playback power consumption makes it an ideal choice for battery-powered applications. The MAX9856 provides microphone input amplifiers, plus flexible input selection, signal mixing, and automatic gain control (AGC). Comprehensive load-impedance sensing allows the MAX9856 to autodetect most common audio and audio/video headset and jack plug types.

Outputs include stereo DirectDrive line outputs and DirectDrive headphone amplifiers. The stereo ADC can convert audio signals from either internal or external microphones that can be configured for single-ended or differential signal inputs. Line inputs can be configured as stereo, differential, or mono and fed through one channel of the microphone path. The analog inputs selected can be gain ranged or mixed with other input sources prior to conversion to digital. The ADC path also features programmable digital highpass filters to remove DC offset voltages and wind noise.

The MAX9856 supports all common sample rates from 8kHz to 48kHz in both master and slave mode. The serial digital audio interfaces support a variety of formats including I²S, left justified, and PCM modes.

The MAX9856 uses a thermally efficient, space-saving 40-pin, 6mm x 6mm x 0.8mm TQFN package.
MAX9856: Simplified Block Diagram MAX9856: Simplified Block Diagram Enlarge+

Key Features

  • 1.71V to 3.6V Single-Supply Operation
  • Stereo 30mW DirectDrive Headphone Amplifier
  • Stereo 1VRMS DirectDrive Line Outputs (VDD = 1.8V) and Stereo Line Inputs
  • Low-Noise Stereo and Mono Differential Microphone Inputs with Automatic Gain Control and Noise Quieting
  • 9mW Playback Power Consumption (VDD = 1.8V)
  • 91dB 96kHz 18-Bit Stereo DAC
  • 85dB 48kHz 18-Bit Stereo ADC
  • Supports Any Master Clock Frequency from 10MHz to 60MHz
  • ADCs and DACs Can Run at Independent Sample Rates
  • Flexible Audio Mixing and Volume Control
  • Clickless/Popless Operation
  • Headset Detection Logic
  • I²C Control Interface


  • Cellular Phones
  • Handheld Gaming Consoles
  • MP3 Players
  • Personal Media Players

CAD Symbols and Footprints

  • MAX9856ETL+
  • MAX9856ETL+T
  • Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C  

    Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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