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Algorithm Finds Personalized Sound Zones in Cars for Driver, Passengers


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in-vehicle personalized sound zones, illustration

Researchers from Stellantis and Laboratoire d'Acoustique de l'Universite du Mans have developed an algorithm that makes personalized sound zones (PSZs) in vehicles a reality, allowing riders to listen to their own audio content without headphones.

The algorithm adapts PSZs within a car to changes in seat position, and coordinates different sound sources in a car's cabin to produce "bright" zones with good sound quality and "dark" zones of reduced quality. The work is described in "Use of the Filtered-X Algorithm to Adapt Personal Sound Zones in a Car Cabin," published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

The group placed microphones in the car to monitor sound characteristics in real time. The algorithm adapts existing filters whenever there is a change to the acoustic environment. "Loudspeakers are placed in the headrests, and specific filters for each transducer are calculated to reproduce an audio signal that retains good quality in the zone under consideration and is strongly attenuated in other zone," says author Lucas Vindrola.

The algorithm accommodates sounds from 100 to 1,000 hertz, and the researchers are looking to increase the bandwidth to 10,000 hertz.

From American Institute of Physics
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