This technology ditches traditional speakers and instead uses the surfaces of the interior of the car in a similar way to the body of classical string instruments.
This is essentially transforming door trims, roof lining, rear shelving and more into a kind of resonance chamber that can be excited to create an immersive sound.
The combination of Continental's Ac2ated Sound and Sennheiser's AMBEO Mobility technology promises to immerse car occupants in an "astoundingly lifelike soundscape" that's both detailed and vivid. One that's being compared to "sitting in a concert hall surrounded by sound" which is quite a bold claim.
This speakerless technology also has the added benefit of enabling weight reduction and space-saving highlights within the car's design too. Sennheiser explains that traditional in-car audio systems can weigh as much as 40kgs.
Ditching that weight in favour of the speakerless system not only makes the vehicle lighter (and thus more fuel-efficient) but also gives car designers more freedom to innovate and alter a design that would normally need to include large speaker drivers and diaphragms.
The weight saving is an added bonus for modern electric vehicles where keeping weight down is an important part of the design.
Helmut Matschi, Head of the business area Vehicle Networking and Information at Continental commented on the partnership with Sennheiser:
"Together, we have developed an audio system that creates premium sound out of nowhere. Additionally, Ac2ated Sound reduces space and weight. At Continental, we call this sustainability that’s music to your ears."
Sennheiser and Continental are currently showing off the system at CES so we'll expect to find out more in the near future.