LG Display has unveiled new technology for “invisible” car speakers, with a flat panel system that can easily fit into headrests as well as car dashboards.
Developed as a direct replacement by the South Korean tech giant for traditional in-car speakers, Thin operator audio solution (Opens in a new tab) The system does away with the prominent voice coils, cones, and magnets found in most tweeters and instead uses an exciting, film-like diaphragm.
These panels and various materials can vibrate inside the car with LG claiming that they can produce a “rich and immersive 3D sound experience”.
The panels measure just 5.9 by 3.5 inches and are only one-tenth of an inch thick, with a lightweight of 1.4 ounces, “without compromising sound quality,” according to LG.
This slim design means the speakers can be placed almost anywhere inside the car, with the tech giant noting that they can be hidden inside headliners and pillars, as well as headrests and dashboards.
Flat speaker system seems to be based on CSO (Opens in a new tab) (OLED Cinema Sound), which LG display shown in OLED TV where screen panel vibrates to generate sound without the need for dedicated speakers. A similar innovative vibration plate system is also used in Sony’s high-end TVs, incl sony a95k.
However, LG has stated that the thin sound solution for the player was developed with an unnamed “universal audio company”.
LG Display says it expects speakers to start appearing in the new car’s interiors in the first half of next year, with the public ready to hear for the first time when the technology is shown off in January at CES 2023 in Las Vegas.
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It comes hot on the heels of NTT’s recent announcement of Leak free open headphonesThis new development from LG Display signals that we are heading into a new era for how we can consume sound.
If the speakers sound as good as LG claims, we’d expect automakers to quickly embrace the technology as the benefits are quite evident.
Manufacturers will have more space to play with within the cockpit and dashboard area, while also making room for slimmer door frames in the passenger area as they will no longer have to incorporate a cone speaker. Its feather structure will also provide significant weight savings and thus vehicle efficiency.
The most exciting possibility for us is that a thin operator audio solution could also allow for an increased amount of speakers to be placed freely around the vehicle’s interiors. Although LG didn’t mention it in its release, we’re really curious to see if the tech works when placed in a ceiling — if it does, it could really unlock some interesting multi-speaker support for spatial audio and Dolby Atmos.
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