Harman innovates Individual Sound Zones for cars

By CARSIFU | 8 January 2015

LONDON: Harman’s Individual Sound Zones (ISZ) is a new in-cabin technology that enables drivers and passengers to create sonic zones, ensuring that all occupants only hear what matters to them.

While there are many different sounds generated in-vehicle, not all of these sounds are relevant to all passengers.

Today's explosion of portable electronics and in-vehicle technologies like navigation, hands free calling and Bluetooth connections have dramatically altered our driving habits and in-cabin experience.

Navigation prompts and phone calls are important for drivers, but interrupt the music for passengers.

Games, audio books and digital videos for one passenger result in a cabin filled with sonic clutter for all.

“Individual Sound Zones and the HALOsonic technology suite enable automakers to offer enhanced experiences to passengers,” said Harman president (lifestyle division) Michael Mauser.

“With Harman’s science-based architecture and acoustic precision, we’re pushing the barriers of sound and creating the ultimate personalised experience throughout the vehicle cabin.”

ISZ is an innovative acoustic design and complementary digital signal processing that maximises speaker directivity and minimises crosstalk in and between the zones in a vehicle for a more personalised in-cabin experience.

ISZ does not eliminate all sound signals, but tunes the vehicle to ensure passengers audio experience is optimised for their location in the vehicle and current mode of listening.

ISZ utilises a vehicle’s existing audio system speakers with the addition of headrest speakers equipped with micro speaker technology, along with thin and flat Electro Dynamic Planar loudspeakers in the vehicle ceiling.

The digital signal processing has been specifically adjusted to the vehicle cabin and speakers such that it will temper the signals from other zones, regardless of whether they are music, voice or other noises.

Each passenger can activate and control their “zone.”

Passengers can still hear other sounds in the cabin, but those sounds are controlled in a way that limits the interruptions and distractions to each passenger’s own sound experience.

Individual Sound Zones can be integrated into any Harman in-car audio system via the amplifier.