Piezo-film speaker for screens of TVs, PCs and tablets

September 02, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
The concept of a thin-film speaker that could be made transparent has been proposed on several occasions; now Kyocera has revisited the idea and says that it has succeeded in developing high audio quality “Smart Sonic Sound”, that is being used in a flat-screen TV, for the first time

The thin, lightweight (the medium-size model has thickness of 1mm and weight of 7g) audio device, called “Smart Sonic Sound” is based on the company’s long history of fine ceramic technology and utilises a piezoelectric actuator combined with a special film to create a piezo film speaker. Smart Sonic Sound will not only contribute to making digital devices even thinner but also, Kyocera asserts, enhances audio quality for a much more realistic audio experience. Its low directivity characteristics broaden the sound projection range, providing 180-degree sound quality and bringing delicate and minute sounds to life.

This innovative piezo actuator audio technology is being used in a flat-screen television for the first time by LG Electronics in the company’s 55-in. curved-screen OLED TV. Smart Sonic Sound comes in three different sizes (large, medium and small), and Kyocera plans to expand its use in a broad range of applications including digital devices and automotive applications with strict weight requirements.

The company launched the Smart Sonic Receiver in early 2012, on Kyocera mobile phones for the Japan and U.S. markets. Smart Sonic Receiver uses a ceramic actuator to send vibrations via tissue conduction and traditional air conduction through display screens without the need for a traditional earpiece or loudspeaker, making it ideal for clear audio in exceptionally noisy environments. The new Smart Sonic Sound technology uses the same base technology but with a different implementation that amplifies air conduction.

The Smart Sonic Sound components come in in small, medium and large, with a thickness of 1mm.

Smart Sonic Sound can create the same audio volume as conventional electromagnetic speakers in just a fraction of the width and weight.

This allows for the speaker device to be built onto the front face of an end-product with ease ― contributing to flexibility and enhancements in end-product. The smallest device measures 19.6 × 27.5 × 0.7 mm, weighs 1g and radiates over 800 Hz – 20