Say goodbye to lame playlists.
Say goodbye to lame playlists.

Noise cancelling technology for cars going mainstream

DON'T like your partner's taste in music? Kia has music for your ears.

The car maker has developed new in-car audio technology that allows all occupants to listen to their own music.

The hi-tech solution - dubbed Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) - allows each passenger to tailor their own audio experience whether that be music, phone calls or movies without disrupting others.

SSZ uses similar technology to current noise cancelling headphones to achieve the personalised sound zones.

An array of speakers throughout the car work together to create directional sound fields that block out residual noise while speakers in the headrest pipe in the audio for the passengers. Each user connects to the SSZ via Bluetooth.

Sound off: Kia’s new audio tech allows each passenger to listen to their own music without the need for headphones.
Sound off: Kia’s new audio tech allows each passenger to listen to their own music without the need for headphones.

Importantly not all sounds are blocked, vehicle alerts and general conversation can still penetrate the separate audio fields.

"I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment," says one of Kia's research fellows Kang-duck Ih.

Kia has been developing the SSZ technology since 2014 and believes that the SSZ will be available in production vehicles within the next two years.

However, Harman is in the process of developing similar technology. The in-car audio specialist is a major supplier to the auto industry, signalling the technology may become more widespread.


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