The EU’s new CE regulations for charging interfaces will be implemented in December this year. How should wireless audio products respond?
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The EU’s new CE regulations for charging interfaces will be implemented in December this year. How should wireless audio products respond?

Posted Date: 2024-02-05

Electronic Enthusiast Network reports (Text/Mo Tingting) Mobile phone charging interfaces are constantly evolving, and charging technology and charging standards are also changing accordingly. In 2019, TypeC charging interface has gradually become the mainstream charging interface for consumer electronics products. The European Union has also launched the CommonCharger specification, which aims to unify the charging interfaces and charger interfaces of specific products into USB Type-C interfaces to reduce electronic waste.

In December 2022, the European Union issued a revised Directive (EU) 2022/2380 on universal chargers to supplement the specific implementation requirements for universal charging interfaces in 3.3(a) of the RED Directive Directive 2014/53/EU. By June 2023, the European Union has approved the adoption of the 2022 version of the IEC62680-1-2 and -1-3 standards.

The revised directive covers three major categories. First, relevant equipment must be equipped with a USB Type-C charging interface that meets the ENIEC62680-1-3:2021* standard, and can be charged using a charging cable that meets the same standard. Second, devices that support fast charging (greater than 5V or 3A or 15 watts) should support the USBPD protocol compliant with ENIEC62680-1-2:2021*. Third, consumers can choose to purchase devices without bundled chargers.

The revised directive applies to smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headsets, headsets with microphones, handheld game consoles, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation in-ear headsets and laptop computers A total of 13 categories of wireless equipment. Except for laptops, the revised directive will be enforced in all EU member states from December 28, 2024. In other words, products sold to specific markets after this date must meet the new requirements.

It is worth noting that among the above 13 categories of products, those related to audio include headphones, headphones with microphones, portable speakers, and in-ear headphones. Open-back headphones, which have attracted much attention recently, are also within the scope of the revised directive. Whether the product is a RED/Commoncharger product can be judged by two characteristics: whether the product has wireless functions and whether it belongs to Category 13 electronic products.

According to data from market research firm Euromonitor, Western Europe will be the world's largest headphone market in 2023 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 11% from 2023 to 2026. The second and third ranked markets are North America and Greater China. Europe, as a market that wireless headset manufacturers cannot ignore, will also need to speed up the follow-up of charging interface technology and related standards in the future.

Specifically, the ENIEC62680-1-2 standard mentions "a fast charging protocol based on the CC channel in the Type-C connector" and "power equipment and power supply equipment can negotiate and adjust the voltage, current and charging direction." " and other specifications; ENIEC62680-1-3 mentioned "three major topics involving Type-C connector, Type-C cable, and Type-C protocol (function)" "pin definition, mechanical structure requirements, size requirements, and electrical performance requirements" and other specifications.

The CommonCharger specification has very detailed requirements for product compliance. Taking audio products as an example, there are different requirements for the Type-C female connector unit, the complete product, and whether it supports PD fast charging. Wei Ming of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology’s Tel Terminal Laboratory mentioned in a public speech that the Commoncharger (CE-RED directive) has no requirements for the matching USB charger, but the USB charger needs to meet the requirements of the CE-ERP energy efficiency directive.

The CE-ERP energy efficiency directive focuses on the energy efficiency, safety, power supply capacity and other related requirements of the charger. However, in the future, the EU will update the CE-ERP energy efficiency directive and add relevant requirements. Therefore, future charger products also need to refer to the IEC62680-1-2 and -1-3 standards.

With the update of CommonCharger, wireless audio products including headphones and their accessories also require more design considerations. Currently, the directive has no requirements for USB-C cables (CtoC or AtoC) sold together, but in the future the EU may again evaluate whether cables need to undergo relevant regulatory certifications.


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