We all know how feeble tiny speakers can sound, especially those of the kind used on certain mobile products, so it's heartening to hear of a new technique from Panasonic that claims to get high-fidelity bass notes from compact speakers.

The Nano Bass Exciter method uses porous carbon inside the speaker enclosure to create an acoustic environment conducive to creating rich low-end sound.

Pressure down

It does this thanks to nanometer-sized pores that absorb air molecules in the speaker when a bass note is produced, forcing a sudden decrease in air pressure in the cabinet. This gives the speaker diaphragm 'room' to move like that in a much larger speaker and, therefore, better ability to reproduce low sounds.

If the Nano Bass Exciter technology takes off, we could soon be carrying mobile phones capable of competing with even the loudest old-school boomboxes, which - of course - sounds like every train passenger's nightmare.