Open floor apartments are easy on the eye, but not pleasing acoustically. The problem arises when you want to listen to music and your partner wants to read or do some office work peacefully. So, how can you enjoy your favorite music without disturbing your partner?
Dutch designer Sanne Gelissen has a brilliant solution – Sound Scene. It is a speaker system that directs sound waves in one single direction. Instead of spreading sound into the entire room, this device bundles sound waves together and focuses them towards a specific point, suppressing it for anyone else in the same room. It’s just like a sound spotlight.
How does it work?
This inventive speaker system is based on the same technology as a flashlight, where a reflective bowl is used to direct light in a single direction. Likewise, the Sound Scene speaker is facing a large parabolic bowl at the back of the device. The bowl reflects sound waves back toward the listener.
The reflective bowl is made of glass fiber laminate, which creates a hard surface for better reflection of waves. Shaped to target the most common mid tone frequencies, the bowl is able to direct the sound over two-feet across a room. Within this two-feet circle, one can hear crystal clear sound.
This way it creates a linear audio zone, within which music can be enjoyed to the maximum limit. But as you step out of this zone, the sound fades to the minimum as if it’s playing in some other room. So, the same space can be shared with no need of a wall or a room divider.
This sound system is ideal for an open floor plan, where one can use this device while watching a movie or simply when listening to music. On the other hand, another roommate can work or read in the same room without any disturbance.
Dutch Design Week
Sound Scene is just a prototype for now. Gelissen has showcased this innovative sound system at Dutch Design Week, where visitors were amused at how sound can be heard within a particular zone and it completely diminishes as one steps out of the audio zone.