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Headphone specialists plug into auto sector
ElectroAcoustic Panels are lighter, more energy-efficient than regular car speakers
28 Mar 2022
By MIKE FOURIE
WARWICK Acoustics – a UK-based firm well-known in the premium headphone market – has adapted its electrostatic-based loudspeaker technology for in-car audio applications.
The firm, which has earned more than 30 global awards for its headphone applications, claims its new patented ElectroAcoustic Panels technology “reproduces unrivalled, remarkable and immersive listening experiences in vehicles”.
Having conducted intense automotive research and development during the past five years, Warwick Acoustics says it is primed to disrupt the $8-billion (A$10.6 billion) automotive in-car audio market thanks to “a rapidly growing portfolio of fundamental patents on Electrostatic Transducer design characteristics and manufacturing processes”.
Automotive grade ElectroAcoustic Panels are said to offer vehicle designers and engineers more freedom in terms of where speakers can be located and integrated because, unlike conventional speakers, they can be moulded into diverse form factors and incorporated into almost all interior surfaces.
This could not only free up space within car interiors, but has the potential to provide automotive manufacturers with scope to innovate interior designs and create new, distinctive in-cabin experiences.
Like-for-like, ElectroAcoustic Panels are claimed to be up to 75 per cent lighter and use up to 75 per cent less power than conventional automotive speakers.
Warwick Acoustics says the ElectroAcoustic Panels use 100 per cent (by mass) upcycled and recyclable materials, which along with their weight- and energy-saving qualities, should appeal to automotive manufacturers’ sustainability objectives, including electrification, lifecycle sustainability and decarbonisation of their supply chains.
Additionally, ElectroAcoustic Panels are said to use none of the unsustainable rare earth elements that conventional speakers rely upon in the manufacturing process.
“We believe that our revolutionary technology is capable of transforming premium audio within the automotive sector through both the extraordinary acoustic quality our solutions deliver to consumers, and the multifarious and significant benefits our solutions deliver to OEMs,” said Warwick Acoustics chief executive Mike Grant.
“It is exciting to exit ‘stealth mode’ after many years of intense R&D. While we have proven our Electrostatic Loudspeaker technology in the high-end headphone market, it was always clear the (most) significant opportunity for the company (would be) in the automotive sector.
“The relevance and value of our technology have only increased as the transition of the sector to sustainable technology accelerates. The substantial improvements we have made in terms of weight saving and power reduction become even more compelling with battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) than internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.
“In addition, the sustainable benefits of our speakers in terms of the use of upcycled and recyclable materials is a game-changer for OEMs who are all rapidly seeking to decarbonise their supply bases.
“Our ElectroAcoustic Panels are automotive-application ready … and our business is primed for expansion. Warwick Acoustics is now scaling its business rapidly to capitalise fully on the opportunity in front of us to be a global leader in our field.”
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