We are a market leader and global provider of advanced micro-acoustic, audio processing, and precision device solutions, serving the mobile consumer electronics, communications, medical, defense, aerospace, and industrial markets. We use our leading position in micro-electro-mechanical systems ("MEMS") microphones and strong capabilities in audio processing technologies to optimize audio systems and improve the user experience in mobile, ear, and Internet of Things ("IoT") applications. We are also the leader in acoustics components used in hearing aids and have a strong position in high-end capacitors. Our focus on our customers, combined with our unique technology, proprietary manufacturing techniques, rigorous testing, and global scale, enables us to deliver innovative solutions that optimize the user experience. Knowles, founded in 1946 and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, has approximately 8,000 employees in 11 countries around the world.
Our primary focus has been to position the Company to benefit from the positive trends we are seeing in our Audio segment. With products ranging from mobile phones to headsets, and from smart speakers to household appliances, voice-powered interactions are emerging as a critical and necessary feature. Consumers want to engage with technology through natural, spoken commands, across the mobile, ear, and IoT markets, and original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") are racing to develop and deploy the technology to enable it. Our unique capabilities in acoustics, digital signal processing, and algorithms place us in a competitive position to enable voice and audio input.
We have been focused on strategically positioning the business to support these broader trends around audio input including the acquisition of Audience, Inc. ("Audience") in 2015, which brought us essential digital signal processing and algorithm capabilities, and the divestiture of our low-margin speaker and receiver product line ("Speaker and Receiver Product Line") in 2016. During this time, we have also invested significantly in our core MEMS microphone and hearing health businesses to maintain our leadership positions and optimize our manufacturing footprint across our business units.