Many car manufacturers, especially in the luxury segment believe that more speaker technology translates into a better in-car audio experience. Continental is turning this concept on its head with its new concept sound system that totally eliminates speakers and vibrates some parts of the car’s interior trim to attain the desired sound quality.
Continental has named this the Ac2ated Sound concept and compared it to the way a string instrument works. Instead of depending on a sound system that comprises tweeters, midrange speakers and subwoofers to deliver sound, the system uses a set of compact actuators comprising a magnet and coil. These work in manner that is similar to that of a conventional speaker.
Instead of connecting the actuators to an oscillating membrane, in the Continental concept system, the actuators are used to excite existing pieces of interior trim and, these in turn, create sound. According to the company, a few different parts of the cabin are best used for different frequencies. For example, the A-pillar is more suitable for higher frequencies while door linings have proportions that are more compatible with medium frequencies and bigger areas like the roof lining could substitute for a subwoofer. Taken together, these elements that are already a part of the interiors work in tandem to create replicate a “3D sound” effect and can have the same impact that a system with 10 to 20 speakers has.
A conventional automotive sound system can weigh approximately 15 kg (33 lb) and needs around 30 liters (1.05 cu.ft) of box volume, while the Ac2ated Sound setup weighs just 1 kg (2.2 lb) and needs only 1 liter (0.035 cu.ft) of box volume to deliver the same effect.
From a design perspective, not having to provide space for big subwoofers and speaker grilles will make automotive designers happy. It is yet to be seen if the concept will gain widespread acceptance among automotive manufacturers.
Continental will be using the Frankfurt Motor show to showcase the concept sound system at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.