Continental and Sennheiser create a speakerless immersive sound system for cars
Now a days, usually when a car is designed sound systems are also integrated into the design to optimise design and if it is a performance car - optimise performance. Many, car companies McLaren, Bentley, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ford, etc, offer an optional extra of a better audio systems in cars usually with more speakers in it. This adds weight.
Tech company Continental and audio specialist Sennheiser teamed up for a special project and the result was presented at CES2020 - a speakerless audio system for a cars. The system fills the cabin with immersive sound. How do they do it. They use actuators instead of speakers. The actuators create sound by vibrating surfaces in the vehicle. Hence you can put the actuators all around the cabin and this results in a natural sound experience for the passengers.
Pic credit: Sennheiser
With actuators cars can save weight and space by 75% to 90% as compared to conventional audio systems. Conventional audio systems can weigh up to 88 pounds (approx. 40 kgs). With this audio system the maximum it can weigh is 22 pounds (approx. 9.97 or 10 kgs), it sheds 66 pounds (30kgs) [this is taking the minimum weight saving of 75%]. To put this into perspective Bugatti shedded 18 kgs from the Chiron to make the Chiron Sport go faster around a track. They did this by using more carbon fibre, they even created windshield wipers to shed weight, what if they had this audio system they could have saved a total of 48 kgs for the Chiron Sport.
This means if it is used in a EV there is more space and a lighter car which means more range. As this is also smaller, it consumes lesser energy too, resulting in more energy for range or air con. In a performance car it can perform better and have more space in doors and other places so bigger people can actually fit or more space in the boot/trunk. This is brilliant. I cannot wait for this to come into cars. I would get this system compared to a conventional audio system in a car.