A speaker’s a speaker right? Well, the LG Display Thin Actuator aims to revolutionize that element of car audio design.

First unveiled earlier this year at CES (the world’s premier consumer tech showcase), the LG Display Thin Actuator Sound Solution, to give it its full name, aims to shake up the world of car audio.

Upon first impressions, the actuator appears utterly alien as a form of audio equipment. After all, how could something that resembles a mere sheet of plastic create complex sounds? Well, it can, and it’s rather clever indeed…

A woman listening to car audio.

How Does the LG Display Thin Actuator work?

Measuring just 12cm x 6cm x 0.3mm, you can slot these actuators behind pretty much any surface you like, whether that be a screen, or a bit of interior trim or upholstery, for example. Then, when you play sounds or music, the actuator vibrates at the required frequencies which in turn causes the materials surrounding it to vibrate too, acting as a sort of amplifier. Essentially, what you end up with is a speaker set-up without using traditional speakers.

And, since they weigh just 12 grams apiece, you can dot these actuators all round the place without having to worry too much about adding weight to your ride.

Rear shot showing audio build in Toyota GT86

How could this impact car modification?

Well, with new car audio tech like this, the possibilities are numerous. LG themselves suggest that one benefit could be the ability to place the actuators in a car’s head rest or seat, thus delivering music directly to your ears. But, if you wanted to get super in-depth with your audio system, you’d only really be limited by your imagination.

I mean, imagine a car with these undetectable actuators dotted all around behind the panels of its interior. Sure it’d be a complex job to wire up, no doubt, but you’d end up with insane levels of audio clarity and channeling. In fact, you don’t need to imagine it. LG has already done exactly that with its demo car, marking out the locations of each actuator with a small green sticker – you simply wouldn’t know they were there otherwise! According to a report from Tech Radar, the result is an utterly immersive experience.

Of course, there are also limitations to something like this. For instance, while the LG Display Thin Actuator can produce rich-sounding highs and mid-range tones, you’ll still need some good ol’ subwoofers to get the bass right.

Overall though, car audiophiles should be very excited about what this new tech might herald. The way that we package and set up car audio upgrades could be about to change for the better, forever…