​This Stereo Shields You From Your Shitty Friend's Shitty Music

Illustration for article titled ​This Stereo Shields You From Your Shitty Friends Shitty Music

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.

Illustration for article titled ​This Stereo Shields You From Your Shitty Friends Shitty Music

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.

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Yeah fuck every ounce of this. If you're in my car you get to endure my shitty eclectic taste in music.

I had to suffer through my parent's shit, and my friends' parents shit, and my current friends' shit music when they're designated driver. That's how it works when you're the passenger. Do I complain when you record over my soccer games with episodes of Scandal, sweetheart ? No*. Didn't I watch 'Frozen' fifty kabillion times, pumpkin? Yes. Didn't I pretend to give a shit about the Serial podcast, friend? I sure did. You get heated seats and don't have to worry about insane drivers or soul-sucking traffic, so fuck your feelings passengers; you'll sit through the 25 gigabytes-worth of my awkward-teenage-phase mix CDs and you'll goddamn like it.

"Individual Sound Zones" my ass. This is like making an app for calling shotgun.

*I kinda like Scandal.