Saving space in cars (and elsewhere) with a speakerless audio system

January 10, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Saving space in cars (and elsewhere) with a speakerless audio system saves space
At CES 2020, Continental and electro-acoustics specialist Sennheiser are presenting an audio system for the vehicle interior that does not require any loudspeakers at all, yet is promising to provide a high-quality 3D sound experience.

The system fills cars with high-quality sound by combining the audio concepts of the two companies. The partners will integrate Sennheiser's patented AMBEO 3D audio technology into Continental's Ac2ated Sound System. The technology company's concept makes existing surfaces in the vehicle vibrate, making conventional speakers superfluous. In conjunction with Sennheiser's 3D audio technology AMBEO Mobility, the sound concept is designed to achieve immersive reproduction that transports the vehicle occupants into an almost lifelike world of sound. A patented algorithm developed by Sennheiser plays a central role in this process. It converts stereo sound signals into 3D audio and at the same time ensures perfect sound balance.

By eliminating the need for costly multi-way loudspeakers, which are commonplace in sophisticated audio systems, Ac2ated Sound enables a reduction in weight and installation space of up to 90 percent. This makes it particularly suitable for use in electric vehicles, where weight and space savings are particularly important.

The developers were inspired by the technology of classic stringed instruments, which use their wooden body as a resonance chamber. Similarly, Ac2ated Sound uses specially developed actuators to cause certain surfaces inside the vehicle to vibrate. The result is not only a particularly natural sound experience for the occupants.

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