Ultra-flat speakers deliver sharp sound

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT) has developed a type of ultra-flat loudspeaker that it says still delivers full sound reproduction.

“This new generation offers tonal balance and acoustic pressure at a level that will even allow use in the professional movie or concert segment in the future,” says IDMT's Dr Sandra Brix.

Rather than using standard-sized speakers, the trick is to arrange miniature versions in arrays.

Brix and her team took their inspiration from the loudspeakers of premium headphones, using electrodynamic headphone miniature loudspeakers from Sennheiser Electronic.

“Because of their compact overall depth, they are excellently suited for use in the flattest loudspeaker boxes, without any losses in tonal persuasiveness,” said Professor Jürgen Peissig, head of the Signal Processing and High Frequency research department at Sennheiser.

 “Even if these flat panel loudspeakers are placed directly on the wall or integrated into media equipment or furniture, they can reproduce a frequency range from 100 hertz to 20 kilohertz,” said Brix. “This distinguishes our new concept from conventional flat panel loudspeakers that achieve response characteristics at this level only if kept at a certain minimum distance from the wall.”