Design and manufacture of a multi-channel beamforming vibrating plate loudspeaker for personal audio
Group Members
Frederick Davies, Daniel Jones, Grace Lampkin, Joshua Large, Michael Raven
Dr Filippo Fazi, Dr Giacomo Squicciarini
Bowers & Wilkins, Tectonic Audio Labs
Recent advances in the television industry have seen a move away from separate speaker systems towards integrated audio-visual systems in which the screen is vibrated by several inertial actuators to act as the speaker. This realises interesting benefts, including experiencing audio coming directly from the screen and an aesthetic integrated design, providing an immersive experience. Combining this trend with state-of-the-art beamforming techniques has the potential to create separate audio zones, thus allowing the individual listening requirements of adjacent viewers to be met without compromise.

The project aimed to produce a multi-channel vibrating plate loudspeaker that could create separate audio zones when displaying audio-visual content. The design was tailored towards use as a demonstrative tool within the Institute of Sound and Vibration to showcase the capabilities of this technology. The project also allowed exploration into the viability of and challenges that would be faced in bringing to market a beamforming television, which was an interest of one of our project supporters, Bowers & Wilkins.

The design process began by developing an analytical model which was validated through multiple stages of testing and used to predict the performance of the panel. The _nal design was developed over two design iterations, guided by literature review, model calculations and measurements. The proposed design works with current ISVR technology through digital connections and the beamforming algorithm, panel structure and inertial actuators were selected and designed to successfully fulfil the design brief.
Annotated exploded view
1. Acoustically transparent cloth
2. Clamping frame
3. Aluminium–paper honeycomb-aluminium sandwich
4. 10 inertial actuators
5. Cabinet with bracing
6. Television mount
7. EDAC audio connector


Loudspeaker panel on stand


Side view of loudspeaker panel


Polar plot with listeners at 30° and -30°