The car isn’t exactly the ideal place to listen to the latest album — especially if you enjoy the simple pleasures of concentrating on the other fast-moving, metal death machines surrounding you on the road.
But if you’ve ever walked past a car putting out enough bass to make nearby windows shake, you’ll know that some people take their in-car audio very seriously. More seriously than they take the responsibility not to annoy other citizens, in fact.
And now LG has a new speaker that’ll allow quality audio in cars without taking up as much space as current sound systems.
The Thin Actuator Sound Solution — LG hasn’t lost its knack for catchy titles — gets rid of the various voice coils, cones and magnets found in regular speakers and instead opts for a “film-type exciter technology”. This makes it extremely thin and lightweight: 2.5mm (the thickness “of two coins stacked together”, just in case you don’t have a ruler handy) and tipping the scales at just 40g, or around 30% the weight of a standard car speaker.
All in all, it’s about the size of a passport, which means it can be tucked anywhere from a display panel, to a seat’s headrest. All while producing what LG describes as a “rich, 3D immersive sound experience.”
That ultimately means that cars can either include more speakers for better sound throughout, or have the same amount of speakers and make (slightly) smaller and lighter vehicles, improving efficiency.
I personally don’t drive, but growing up in the 1980s, I can’t help but feel jealous of any children being driven around today. In my day, the choice of in-car entertainment was one of a handful of repeated cassette tapes or the radio. Nowadays, the whole world of Audible, or millions of Spotify tracks are available on demand through the magic of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
There’s just no excuse for the tiresome refrain of “are we nearly there yet?” to echo from the back seats anymore. Though I’m sure it still does.