These “invisible” speakers want to revolutionize car sound

Designed by LG, the Thin Actuator Sound Solution gets rid of speakers, coils and magnets to become ultra flat. This 2.5 mm thick vibratory membrane should be integrated into cars next year to obtain precise and powerful sound while saving space and reducing weight.

In mattermatter of audio, so that there is enveloping sound and volumevolume, you need a sound box and thick cone speakers. It’s for this reason that there really isn’t a very high-end audio speaker system flat enough to go unnoticed.

The only process that comes close with less thickness is based on the technology developed by NXT. On the loudspeaker, instead of a diaphragmdiaphragm which moves back and forth like a piston, it is the panel that vibrates over the entire surface thanks to a very flat membrane. However, the whole remains several centimeters thick. It’s a similar process that is sometimes used on relatively thin Bluetooth speakers.

LG Display has gone further by developing a new so-called invisible speaker technology that it has dedicated to automobilesautomobiles. The speakers are ultra thin and can be integrated directly into the headrest, the dashboard of the car or on other parts of the cabin. called Thin Actuator Sound Solution, the technology is based on a vibratory membrane no thicker than a film. It is possible to integrate it on any surface of the cabin. LG claims that it can deliver an immersive 3D sound experience as good as a conventional speaker system.

Thin Actuator Sound Solution comes in the form of a passport with a thickness of 2.5 mm and a weight of 40 g. This is the equivalent of 30% of the weight and 10% of the thickness of a conventional car speaker. © GU

Weight gain and space for the automobile

These panels measure 150 x 90 mm and above all 2.5 mm thick. In terms of weight, it’s about a feather with 40 grams on the scale. All without compromising sound quality, according to LG. However, this process is not new: at CES 2021, LG Display had already unveiled a flexible screen concept equipped with this 0.6 mm thick membrane applied to the entire surface of the slab. The in-house invention was then baptized Bendable CSO (CSO for Cinematic Sound Oled). There is also an equivalent system on very high-end Sony televisions, such as the A95K.

In the case of this Thin Actuator Sound Solution, LG has gone further in finesse and is now able to industrialize the production of these panels. This is why the manufacturer claims that its audio technology could be integrated in the first half of 2023 in cars. Such a system could make it possible to increase the interior volume of cars and in particular to reduce the thickness of the doors. The technology could also make it possible to multiply the number of loudspeakers and to place them on the ceiling of the vehicle.

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