Research project: Sound Improvement of Ferrite-Loudspeakers

Within the Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, a software-based sound improvement technology has been developed. In the cost-driven automobile industry, neodymium-loudspeakers tremendously increased in prices in the recent past. The reason for this is, that rare earths (in this case neodymium) have become increasingly rare (!). This price increase of temporarily 1300% has motivated us to examine SPL technology, whether a usage of more favorable ferrite-loudspeakers in combination with a software would reduce the dependence and put a damper on the cost pressure.

Initial studies affirmed that we might be able to develop a new product, so we took advantage of the opportunity to use the ZIM-support, to push forward necessary developments.

We developed a software for a chip (IC or DSP) which is often used in the automobile industry, so that we were able to demonstrate, that a transition to ferrite-loudspeakers is possible.

In comparison to other solution approaches, the SPL technology is unrivalled in its universality and quality. It can be used with any kind of audio signal (different styles of music, spoken words) and achieves optimal results even at critical applications like the bass range.

In this way, we were able to show, that an improvement of sound quality and a simultaneous reduction of production costs is possible.

The process happening within our filters is quite complex. It is not without reason that our filter is one of the few which was patented during the last 30 years. The time of the audio material is repositioned, in such way that loud frequencies towards quiet frequencies of the same frequency range are shifted. As a result, the quieter and overlaid frequency components, which are harder to perceive, are ‘demarcated’ and thus are clearly audible again. The shift lies in the area between approx. +/- 2ms. As a consequence, there are not two separately audible individual tones that appear (this would normally appear at approx. 17ms), but the perception of interaural time difference is achieved. The shift controls the audio material itself with its frequency/amplitude distribution. This form of processing provides an absolutely natural sound. An increase of the bass section with this technology leads to a higher output level and additionally the bass section sounds clean, has a brilliant signal depth and there is no ‘droning’ but a fine and natural sound. This is the tremendous advantage of our technology.

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