Directional speaker delivers personal sound, sans-headphones

10 pictures

The A is a directional speaker currently being funded by an Indiegogo campaign

The A is a directional speaker currently being funded by an Indiegogo campaign. View gallery (10 images)

As the world goes crazy about portable audio, Akoustic Arts engineers have taken a different approach to delivering sound. The directional "A" speaker transmits sound using ultrasonic waves, allowing you to enjoy headphone-free audio without disturbing your neighbors.

The speaker is being developed by a team based in Paris, and is made up of two separate components: the A back, and the A core. The back acts as a frame, allowing users to attach their speaker to a stand or wall mount, while the unit is actually controlled and plugged in through the core, where there are two 3.5 mm jacks - one for plugging an audio device in, and another to link speakers.

Once you've plugged your speaker into the wall, you're able to use anything from smartphones to amplifiers and turntables as your source.

The difference between directional speakers like "A" or Soundlazer and a regular unit is the way they create sound. Instead of using an electromagnetic coil and cone to generate audible sound waves that spread out in a wide arc, Akoustic Arts' creation, and parametric speakers in general, generates a beam of directional high-frequency (ultrasonic) waves that then self-demodulate when they hit something to become audible sound waves that only those in its path can hear.

The regular speaker, which measures up at 20 x 20 cm (7.87 x 7.87 in), will be accompanied by a 9 x 9 cm (3.54 x 3.54 in) Junior model. Both models use the same Core unit, but the larger unit has 200 transducers within it's white plastic body, whereas the Junior makes do with just 37. Downsizing also means sacrificing some volume, with the Original able to produce 90 dB at 1 meter (3.3 ft), compared to the Junior's 70 dB at the same distance.

These differences come down to the stated aim of each speaker: the Original is designed to cover distances up to 10 m (33 ft), while the Junior is aimed at people who want it on their desk at work.

Having launched on Indiegogo with a flexible goal of US$30,000, the project has raised over $127,900 with 25 days still to run. If the campaign is able to raise $160,000, its creators say they will create a black speaker to accompany the white one, and if $400,000 can be raised the speaker will become WiFi enabled.

Akoustic Arts says orders should be fulfilled in September 2016, and the Original speaker should retail for $870, while the Junior will set you back $550.

Akoustic Arts' explains the workings of the "A" in the video below.

Source: Akoustic Arts

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