Sennheiser Announces ‘Speakerless’ Sound System

Headphone specialist Sennheiser announced on the eve of CES 2020 that it has teamed with the technology company Continental to create a unique “speakerless” car audio system designed to fill the interior of a vehicle with lifelike immersive sound.

The system pairs Sennheiser’s patented Ambeo 3D audio technology and Ambeo Mobility algorithm — which “turns stereo material into an immersive experience” — with Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system. Instead of conventional cone drivers, the system uses specially developed actuators that excite surfaces in the vehicle interior to produce sound.

The result is a system that reduces weight and saves space while producing an “extremely natural sound experience for the occupants, who feel as if they are sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound,” according to Sennheiser.

Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system uses the Sennheiser technologies to calibrate and fine-tune sound quality and is said to occupy 75 to 90% less space than conventional car sound systems now on market. The actuators vibrate pillar and door trim, roof lining, and rear shelf material like speaker diaphragms, emitting sound in different frequency ranges.

The companies are hosting private demonstrations of the new technology during CES, which officially opens Tuesday.