Tim Shults
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Harman Offers In-Car, Independent Sound Zones Experience

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Family Road Trip Harman Independent Sound Zones system listen to music

Enjoy being in the car together with Harman’s ISZ

There have been a slew of fascinating technologies revealed at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. One of the items that caught many people’s attention was Harman’s Independent Sound Zones (ISZ) system.

Harman International–a premiere audio-visual design and manufacturing company–already has sound and entertainment systems installed in over 25 million vehicles by 20 automakers worldwide. The company’s latest product, which could be available in new vehicle models by 2019, was on display at the 2015 CES.

Independent Sound Zones System from Harman Coming by 2020

Here’s the demonstration attendees at CES experienced: while baseball game footage played in a Lexus GS sedan, passengers in the back seat were able to watch a movie while those in the front spoke on hands-free Bluetooth calling–all with minimal audio bleed-over.

Harman claims its Independent Sound Zones product “reduces unwanted noise while enhancing and personalizing the sounds that passengers want to hear.”

If the description of ISZ reminds you of climate controls for temperatures, you’re on the right track.

The technology uses existing audio system speakers and simply adds a couple more. By embedding small speakers in every headrest and flat Electro Dynamic Planar Loudspeakers in the vehicle ceiling, people can isolate their preferred sounds and create independent listening experiences. Each person has their own volume control panel.

It also projects HALOsonic noise-cancelling frequencies that dampen road and engine noise.

“With Harman’s science-based architecture and acoustic precision, we’re pushing the barriers of sound and creating the ultimate personalized experience throughout the vehicle cabin,” said Michael Mauser, president of the Lifestyle Division of Harman.

What I like most about this ISZ technology is that family members don’t have to wear headphones when they’re in the car together. They can each listen to their own entertainment without putting up walls between each other. Doesn’t that sound like a much better way to spend time in the car?

News Source: Harman and CNET