Ditch That Woofer: Invisible Speakers Will Rock Your World

invisible speakers emo labs

Is the common flat TV screen the future of speakers? We can hear the audiophiles out there rolling their eyes already, but the innovative new “invisible” speakers developed by Emo Labs actually sound kind of awesome. Rather than the big, clunky things we’re used to, their Edge Motion invisible speakers work by using piezoelectric actuators to cause sound vibrations in a thin, clear membrane that sits on top of the screen. And if the demonstration videos are accurate, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Good enough that we’re really psyched about this.

The picture quality isn’t affected by the membrane, though it does seem to add a bit of a glare. But if it would get rid of the unattractive speakers hanging on walls and sitting on floors around TVs currently, we might be able to put up with a little glare. According to the company, a major problem of traditional speakers is that they add clutter while separating the audio from the visual component of our entertainment. Anyone who has ever fallen victim to a poorly-installed surround sound system can sympathize.

The technology is set to be included in all kinds of consumer gadgets in the coming months: TVs, definitely, but also hand-held games, portable music and DVD players, desktop computers and laptops. Due to screen size constraints, the Edge Motion speakers aren’t yet ready to be developed into new laptops or other smaller applications, but the company hopes to roll them out on flat-screen TVs in the coming months.

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See more in Audio & TV or under Gadgets. November, 2009.