November 28, 2007 Sound and speaker specialist Bowers & Wilkins has developed a new Spiral Diffuser tube that will help vehicle manufacturers increase sound system performance within the limited package restrictions offered by the in-car speaker format. The diffuser is designed to remove unwanted sound resonance in vehicle interiors by replicating a technique used in home sound system set ups.
The Spiral Diffuser was created to address the issue of unwanted sound that emerges from the back of a working speaker cone. It is a common problem with car stereos, where sounds from the rear of the speaker bounce around inside door enclosures, creating delayed, resonant noise. In the home environment a long tapering tube behind the speaker to soak up the unwanted sound is used to alleviate the problem, but this is not practical given the size restrictions on cars. Bowers & Wilkins adapted a space-saving technology used in its home theater system, the CT800, for use with car audio with the tube replaced by a six-channel spiral diffuser that provides the 100mm tube length in only 10 percent of the depth.
The patented spiral, visually similar to a turbine impeller is typically made of injection molded plastic and can be integrated into speaker designs. Its small size and low weight mean that vehicle manufacturers can apply it to existing platforms with ease. In mid-range applications the diffuser design can also be used to lower unwanted panel vibration. This technology will first be exclusively engineered into the new Jaguar from concept stage with experts seeking to optimize every aspect of the car’s audio environment.
Known for having its speakers grace the studios at Abbey Road, the company also recently released the Zeppelin portable iPod speaker dock with a 5” subwoofer, plus twin 3.5” midranges and two 1” tweeters.