Good sound takes space. At least, that is what I thought. LG Display Automotive offered me a preview. CES 2023It is a new type of ultra-thin audio speaker driver that can transform almost any object into a powerful speaker.
A thin driver makes an audio solution look more like something you would copy from a notebook than a device that emits sound. The thin copper cable that is wrapped at one end of the cable is a gift.
The player measures 12cm x 6cmx0.3mm thick and weighs 12g.
How can something so thin produce sound? It vibrates. It vibrates in the same way as the voice coil located at the center a traditional loudspeaker. Instead of a thin diaphragm con, such as a dial, the thin actuator uses whatever is in the schematic. It vibrates at different frequencies and the material surrounding it vibrates as a diaphragm. This acts as an amplifier for sound.
This approach has clear advantages. The typical 4K TV speakers are affected by their small voice coils, diaphragm cones, and inability to produce large sound. To amplify the sound, the thin player can use the entire screen of the monitor. The players can be easily fitted into a car’s headrest to deliver sound directly to your ears and head.
LG explained the technology this way to me, but I wasn’t convinced until I heard it for myself.
LG representatives drove me to a specially-equipped test vehicle (I cannot tell you the make or model). LG Display Automotive has concealed 12 thin drivers and three subwoofers inside the cabin. This is standard for 12.3, Dolby3D sound. The only way to tell if the engines were present was by placing little green stickers around the interior.
I sat in front of the screen, closed the door, then a representative from LG turned on the music. I could hear the sound all around me. It came from the doors, the frame around them, and the dashboard and center console. I can feel the vibrations and can touch the fabric. The old-school speakers produced a big bass, but all the highs, mids, and highs were clear and very rich.
These drivers aren’t likely to be seen or heard in the cars of 2023. LG Display manufactures the technology for other companies, including parent LG Electronics. Representatives from LG Display Automotive told me that they are in talks with automakers about when and how to introduce this audio technology into their vehicles.
It is also possible that future 4K and 8K TVs will be dominated by thinner players, as well as some of the thinner and more flexible displays LG Display is creating for future cars.
If all goes well, we might try a super slim audio player in the near future.
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