Sennheiser brings Ambeo 3D audio to cars with Continental sound systems

The system turns the car's interior into a speaker.

Sennheiser's Ambeo 3D audio technology has been packed into everything from soundbars to headphones to AR devices. It will soon be available in cars too, without the need for speakers, thanks to Sennhesier's vehicle audio system created in partnership with automotive company Continental.

Sennheiser created an in-car Ambeo system for luxury automaker Karma Automotive last year, using a multi-channel speaker setup. The new system combines Seinnheiser's Ambeo technology with the speakerless Continental Ac2ated system.

The speakerless technology relies on small actuators, similar to the core of a regular speaker. However, instead of vibrating a speaker membrane, these actuators physically stimulate the surfaces of the car's interior. This causes them to radiate sound, similar to the way that bowing a violin makes the body of the instrument resonate and produce a note.

The technology aims to produce a 3D soundscape that surrounds passengers. Without the need for speakers, it can also shave up to 40 kilograms of weight from a car and reduces required space in the cabin by 75 to 90 percent.

It remains to be seen how good a speakerless system actually sounds, but we'll be trying out a demo of the technology this week to find out whether the partnership heralds a new future for in-car audio.