Harman may have just saved countless friendships, thousands of marriages, and maybe a few child abuse charges with the introduction of a stereo that localizes sound around each seat in the car.
The idea seems pretty simple: embed two speakers in each headrest and above each seat to keep the sound confined to one area. But naturally it's way more complicated than that.
Unlike normal speakers that just blast sound waves, Harman is using a combination of audio processing and powerful, directional "micro-speakers" to manage the frequencies to create something called Individual Sound Zones (ISZ). Using both those and the normal speakers in the car, it's able to modify the wave field and reduce the spectral audio range into one area. At least that's what they tell us.
Sure, it's not going to completely shield you from enduring another Maroon 5 marathon, but it's as close as you'll get without – y'know – just using headphones.