ModalMax audio speakers have been enhanced by innovative means of tailoring the vibration response of thin piezoelectric plates to produce a high-fidelity audio response. The ModalMax audio speakers are 1 mm in thickness.

The device completely supplants the need to have a separate driver and speaker cone. ModalMax speakers can perform the same applications of cone speakers, but unlike cone speakers, ModalMax speakers can function in harsh environments such as high humidity or extreme wetness. New design features allow the speakers to be completely submersed in salt water, making them well suited for maritime applications. The sound produced from the ModalMax audio speakers has sound spatial resolution that is readily discernable for headset users. [The ModalMax product line was described in "High-Fidelity Piezoelectric Audio Device" (LAR-15959), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 8 (August 2003), page 36.] Other improvements of the ModalMax audio speakers include methods to reduce size, reduce power demand, and increase audio fidelity by increasing vibrational responses at the low and high ends of the audio frequency range.

This work was done by Stanley E. Woodard of Langley Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Electronics/Computers category.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the May, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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