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Sennheiser and Continental team up for speakerless car audio at CES 2020

Audio specialist Sennheiser and car firm Continental have partnered together to deliver an immersive, speakerless 3D audio system at CES 2020

This ‘speaker’ system meshes Sennheiser’s existing AMBEO 3D audio technology with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system to create a 3D immersive audio system. It is said to reproduce audio in a manner that envelops passengers in an “incredibly detailed and vivid soundscape”.

The system appears to work without the presence of any visible speakers, which sounds like witchcraft to us, and is inspired by classical string instruments which use their wooden body as a resonance chamber. That idea is achieved here with specially developed actuators (replacing conventional speakers), that are placed within the vehicle interior that vibrate to produce the sound passengers hear.

Each piece of technology informs the other, with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system hidden within the surface of the car itself, a feature Continental claims results in a “natural sound experience for the occupants” who are surrounded by sound.

Compared to a traditional car audio system, the benefits of the Ac2ated system allow for a reduction in to weight by using existing surfaces. Continental says that this implementation helps to save between 75-to 90% of weight compared to existing car audio solutions. That makes it well-suited for electric vehicles where space and savings in weight are a priority.

Where Sennheiser’s AMBEO Mobility features in is how way the sound fills the car. It uses a spatialization algorithm that turns any stereo content into an immersive format by analysing the audio and remixing the sound.

Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser said: “By integrating AMBEO Mobility with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system, the in-car sound experience becomes completely immersive and natural, opening new audio perspectives and realities.”

The system is currently not being showcased to the public, but we’ll be looking to get some impressions of how this fascinating car audio technology works.

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