The "A" speaker: A solution to noise pollution

The "A" speaker is like listening to headphones without the headphones.

Akoustic Arts' “A” speaker is described as the world’s most advanced directional speaker because of its ability to create a narrow beam of sound that only the listener can hear. Designed by Paris-based technology company Akoustic Arts, the speaker blasts sound directly into the user’s ears from across the room without anyone else hearing it.

Inside the beam, you hear sound. Outside, you hear nothing.

The “A” speaker generates ultrasonic waves (high-frequency sound waves) that are then turned into audible sound waves. This is completely different to a normal speaker which produces ordinary sound waves with a single, moving electromagnetic coil and cone.

The loudspeaker releases a primary or ultrasonic beam that propagates in the air and self-demodulates to reconstitute the audible audio signal. The self-demodulation effect allows the speaker to constrain the sound in a specific zone by acting as a virtual array.

“In the end, sound travels out from the “A” speaker in a narrowly focused column, like a flashlight beam,” wrote the speaker’s designers.

The applications for the device are endless. From watching a movie while your partner reads, to listening to music by yourself in a public place, the speaker aims to cut out noise pollution in a variety of spaces.