It's all scientific and stuff, but apparently it works.

In the current world of high-end car audio, some manufacturers are boasting 15 speakers or more. Very soon, however, the hot new audio option could well be zero speakers. Continental thinks it has the solution with a system called Ac2ated Sound, which basically turns the car itself into a speaker. You, being in the middle of it all, would theoretically experience proper surround sound.


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“In the age of electric vehicles, car manufacturers are looking for innovative solutions to drastically reduce the weight of their vehicles and gain space for passengers and new technologies,” said Johann Hiebl, Continental’s head of business unit infotainment and connectivity. “Our approach is to treat the car itself as an instrument. We use compact actuators to excite suitable surfaces to thus generate a natural, 3D sound experience.”

Without getting too technical, the concept here is that certain parts of the car are naturally well-suited for various frequencies. According to Continental, A-pillars are good for high frequencies, which would make them the tweeters. Door panels can handle good mid-range frequencies, while areas like the roof and rear shelf apparently make awesome subwoofers. Instead of having actual speakers in these spots, Continental would use the aforementioned actuators – not unlike the core of a speaker with a coil and a magnet – to send out vibrations in these areas. The car then does the rest.


Continental speakerless sound system


As a nifty bonus to this speakerless setup, Continental says upwards of 50 pounds could be shaved off a car’s weight by ditching the speakers and related components. Furthermore, it would free up interior space for more storage so there’s a practical application to the speakerless stereo as well.

It sounds pretty crazy, but it’s not really a revolutionary concept. An instrument like a violin or acoustic guitar functions much the same way, with the strings being actuators. Continental says “experts” have given the system a big thumbs up, but we’re going to reserve judgement until we hear the speakerless car audio system for ourselves. What do you think about this new approach to mobile sound – kind-of creepy or aurally awesome?

Source: Continental


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