Immersive Sound Without Speakers
Continental x Sennheiser speakerless in-car audio system

When automakers develop track-focus cars, one of the standard gestures is to strip off the interior for weight reduction. For many cases, things like air conditioning and sound systems are gone for the purpose of creating a lighter version of the vehicle. Continental and Sennheiser have joined forces to create a speakerless 3D immersive audio system, which can create excellent acoustics by exciting surfaces inside the vehicle to produce sound.

Combining Continental’s innovative Ac2ated Sound system and Sennheiser’s 3D audio technology, the innovative concept abandons conventional speaker technology altogether. Inspired by the structure of classical string instruments using the wooden body as a resonance chamber, the Ac2ated Sound actuators excite specific surfaces in the cabin to provide immersive sound. Supported by Sennheiser’s AMBEO Mobility software, the concept offers incredibly detailed and vivid soundscape to the occupants, as if they are sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound.

Conventional audio systems weigh up to 40 kilograms in general. As the concept makes use of existing surfaces of the interior, around 75 to 90 percent of this weight can be saved. The concept also gives vehicle designers more room to realise their ideas without having to consider the placement of speakers as components such as the A-pillar trim, door trim, roof lining and rear shelf can all become parts of the in-car sound system.