Built-in acoustics: what it is and how it works

    Usually, when they hear about the “acoustic system,” people represent the wires and speakers that occupy all the free space in the room. But in reality, this is not always the case: the audio system can be placed on the ceiling or entirely hidden in special niches in the wall. Let's talk about built-in acoustics, how it is designed and where such systems are used.

    In the photo: a large cinema in the office of "Audiomania"


    The direction of flat speakers in the speaker industry began to develop in the 1990s. In 1996, a “speaker with the principle of distributed functioning” was developed , aka DML (Distributed Mode Loudspeaker). And in 1997, the first mini-audio system in which this technology was used went on sale, it was made by Benwin.

    The product was called Benwin BW2000 and was a set of computer speakers. The company's engineers saw the potential in DML equipment: they planned to use the technology in car audio systems. However, Benwin froze the project.

    Flat speakers attracted the attention of other market players, including the creators of sound-reproducing equipment for the home. In 2006, Sonance introducedOne of the first “invisible” speakers is the Architectural Series. Columns could be embedded in the walls or ceiling - the audio system became completely invisible in the interior.

    How it works

    In flat speakers, the sound source is a broadband emitter, or exciter. In it, unlike a dynamic loudspeaker, there is no conical diffuser, and the voice coil is connected to a solid panel without openings. On it, the coil transmits vibrations that spread over the entire area of ​​the panel.

    The surface, in turn, works like a soundboard of a musical instrument and amplifies the sound waves from the coil. In order to transmit oscillations of the radiator, the material of the column surface must be rigid, but rather flexible. Therefore, the panels are made of plywood, aluminum or plastic.

    When the column is installed in the wall or on the ceiling, the panel is painted in tone (or in the case of walls, they are hidden behind wallpaper). On average, the thickness of the coating over the device should not exceed 2-3 mm, otherwise the sound of the system will be disturbed.

    Spheres of application

    Invisible audio systems are installed both at home and in public places. In the living room flat speakers can be mounted anywhere: in the bedroom, living room, in the kitchen. Built-in acoustics are placed even in bathrooms and saunas. For example, Stealth Acoustic's LRg series models withstand temperatures up to +60 ° C and high air humidity. All metal elements of the column are behind the panel, so the device does not deteriorate.

    Also built-in speakers are used as a sound source in home theaters. Suitable for this application acoustics releasesCeratec - called Cerasonar. This series includes speakers for rooms of different sizes - from 25 to 100 square meters. m, - as well as a full-fledged subwoofer. The design of the devices assumes the presence of from one to four sound emitters, their thickness - 10 cm in the subwoofer and 5 cm in the other speakers.

    In the photo: a small cinema hall in the office of “Audiomania” with Cerasonar speaker system.

    Video on how to mount the Cerasonar acoustics:

    Flat columns are also installed in public places, such as cafes and museums. In restaurants, built-in acoustics are usually placed on the ceiling. According to the owners of institutions, flat speakers "scatter" the sound of the room. In the restaurant, as a result, there are no separate noisy places near the speakers, and all the guests calmly communicate with each other without the need to shout out music.

    In exhibition spaces, built-in acoustics are used to create sound installations or are made part of a work of art. So, the British artist Adriana Pace (Adriana Paice) installed the speaker in the canvas, which was embroidered with silk line from the poem. When visitors to the gallery touched the picture, they activated motion sensors, and the column startedplay an audio recording of this work.

    And not always flat speakers are hidden in the interior: the audio system can be a full-fledged decor item . Such devices are manufactured by Fräsch. Fella columns are hidden in bright felt tiles, which are 60% made from recycled plastic. The system is controlled by Bluetooth.

    A similar audio system was created in Bang and Olufsen. The BeoSound Shape set consists of hexagonal tiles of various sizes. The complex consists of actually flat speakers with a textile coating (under it is a plastic surface), amplifiers and dampers.

    Built-in acoustics are used in street audio systems. For example, columns from Feonic are placed under the terrace floor or hidden behind pots of plants. The devices are protected from moisture and snow and operate at a temperature of -20 ... +100 ° C.

    Advantages and disadvantages

    With the help of built-in acoustics, you can create a full-fledged audio system that does not take up much space. The interior of the room does not need to adjust under the column, and according to your desire all the equipment will be removed out of sight. And in terms of sound quality, “invisible” systems are comparable to ordinary, “voluminous” speakers.

    The main disadvantage of embedded acoustics is the amount of expenditure on the creation of such a system. Although the price of the equipment itself does not exceed the cost of floor speakers, the installation of an “invisible” audio system in the house will cost much and take a lot of time.

    A separate minus is at the ceiling speakers. Their sound will seem strange and unnatural to someone. This happens because the ears of a person are not accustomed to perceive the sound coming from above. Therefore, the speaker system on the ceiling is not suitable for everyone.

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