Sennheiser bringing speakerless Ambeo immersive audio to in-car sound systems

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

CES 2020 has a massive car tech component, along with in-home consumer electronics, and is often a great stop for checking out new innovations in in-car audio. So it's the perfect spot for Sennheiser to reveal its new collaboration with Continental to bring its immersive Ambeo audio technology on the road.

Sennheiser's original Ambeo soundbar is the daddy of soundbars – a giant, premium speaker unit that brings all-around and overhead surround to your home via a single unit. That principle is being added to Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system with a twist – it won't actually require any speakers at all...

How it works

Imagine the shell of your car being like a big string instrument – hollow bodied, with a resonant chamber inside. Continental’s Ac2ated Sound system uses specially designed actuators to "excite" specific surfaces in a vehicle, using the resonant areas of the car to amplify sounds being created by vibrating the vehicle's interior.

This allows for numerous elements of the car to become the source of a sound, and when combined with Ambeo's algorithm, creates wide-ranging surround sound while you drive, perfect for the current wave of 3D audio file formats growing in popularity. The lack of big speaker components also means a reduction in the footprint of audio components in-car of 75% or more.

As yet, neither company are announcing any partner vehicles for the technology, but will be demoing it behind closed doors at the Las Vegas show.

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Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.