SPEAKERLESS AU­DIO

Car (South Africa) - - TECH -

Any­one in­ter­ested in high-end sound sys­tems knows that speak­ers play a vi­tal part in achiev­ing great au­dio qual­ity, and nowhere more so than in cars. Imag­ine my sur­prise, there­fore, when I spot­ted a Mercedes-benz C-class, em­bla­zoned with the words “Speakerless Au­dio”, that was set up for a sound demon­stra­tion at the re­cent Con­ti­nen­tal Techshow. The Ger­man brand works in the field of ac­tive sound can­cel­la­tion us­ing tiny ac­tu­a­tors sited be­hind the in­te­rior pan­els of ve­hi­cles, and this is where the idea of speakerless au­dio was born. In the C-class, ac­tu­a­tors be­hind the dash, roof liner, seat­backs and other pan­els vi­brate to cre­ate sound. Es­sen­tially, these sur­faces be­come the speak­ers and, ac­cord­ing to Con­ti­nen­tal, the sys­tem saves weight, is less com­plex and cheaper than cur­rent au­dio so­lu­tions. It also frees up space for in­te­rior de­sign­ers to do with as they please. How does it sound, then? In­cred­i­ble. The oc­cu­pants are com­pletely im­mersed in the sound ex­pe­ri­ence.

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