At the CES 2020, Continental and audio specialist Sennheiser showcased a speakerless car audio system. This unique new tech uses no traditional speaker cones. Instead, the two partners are integrating Sennheiser’s patented AMBEO 3D audio technology with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system to abandon conventional speaker technology altogether, exciting select surfaces in the vehicle interior to produce sound. With Sennheiser’s AMBEO Mobility, the concept achieves 3D sound reproduction that envelops passengers in a detailed and vivid soundscape.
In comparison to conventional audio systems, Ac2ated Sound enables a reduction of weight and space of up to 90 percent. In this way, the system not only produces the highest audio quality but is also perfectly suited for electric vehicles, where saving space and weight is a high priority. Transforming the vehicle into an instrument, inspired by the technology of classical string instruments, which use their wooden body as a resonance chamber, specially developed actuators excite specific surfaces in the vehicle interior. The result is a natural sound experience for the occupants, who feel as if they are sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound. Additionally, in comparison with conventional speaker systems, the audio solution has a much lower weight and significantly reduced box volume.
In comparison, with a multitude of components, conventional audio systems weigh up to 40 kilograms (more than 88 pounds). By using already existing surfaces, Ac2ated Sound is distinctly more efficient in saving space. It achieves a reduction between 75 and 90 per cent in contrast to existing conventional systems on the market. At the same time, the invisible audio technology gives vehicle designers and manufacturers the freedom to do more with an automobile’s interior, as they no longer need to account for large speaker faces taking up valuable space. With Ac2ated Sound, many components are unnecessary because the surfaces in the vehicle vibrate just like speaker diaphragms. Actuators cause components such as the A-pillar trim, door trim, roof lining and rear shelf to vibrate so that they emit sound in different frequency ranges.