TDK’s Two-Channel Surround System

November 22, 2006

TDKI’m a sucker for new audio and display technologies; not necessarily purchasing them but I do love hearing about the newest of the new. This one definitely falls into the new and innovative category; TDK has apparently devised a way to re-create a 360-degree acoustic sound-field, with a 2.1 speaker system.

The TDK system employs a “giant magnetostrictive material” that uses; you guessed it ferromagnetic materials, to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy to drive the speaker array. Exactly how does it work? To be honest I don’t have the foggiest notion but it sure sounds interesting.

Ok all kidding aside, the magnetostrictive materials change their shape when subjected to a magnetic field i.e. alternating magnetic fields can be used to power the speaker driver versus the conventional magnetic coil and paper/polypropylene speaker designs in use today.

GMMs feature quick response and strong power due to expansion and contraction. If an exciter loaded with a GMM (GMM exciter) vibrates a rigid panel, a number of small vibration areas will be created across the panel. According to TDK, this results in uniform acoustic pressure distribution around the speaker system.

One of the obvious advantages to a system like this is the ability to re-create multiple frequency ranges with fewer drivers and enclosures, versus typical speaker systems. Per usual I’ll reserve final judgment on the merits of such a system until I can hear it myself, but hey we’ve seen countless advancements in display technologies of late, its about time audio benefited from some advanced tech as well.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Surround Sound


Comments

  • audioreviewer

    Oh, correction on that last comment, it may not be electrostatic, there’s another flat panel speaker tech out there: planar-magnetic speakers. That might be closer to what these TDK’s are seeing as it uses “magnetostrictive materials”.

  • audioreviewer

    Oh, correction on that last comment, it may not be electrostatic, there’s another flat panel speaker tech out there: planar-magnetic speakers. That might be closer to what these TDK’s are seeing as it uses “magnetostrictive materials”.

  • audioreviewer

    This just looks and sounds suspiciously like a regular electrostatic speaker to me… do a quick search on google for “electrostatic speaker” and you’ll see similar-looking speakers. They’ve been used for high-end speakers here and there by several big name companies.

  • audioreviewer

    This just looks and sounds suspiciously like a regular electrostatic speaker to me… do a quick search on google for “electrostatic speaker” and you’ll see similar-looking speakers. They’ve been used for high-end speakers here and there by several big name companies.