TDK Corp. has announced the "Xa-Master (SP-XA160)," a 2.1ch surround speaker system using speakers combining a giant magnetostrictive material (GMM) and a rigid panel. Its market debut is slated for December 2006. This product shows distinction in its mid-to-high frequency speakers (1.5 to 20 kHz) used for both right and left channels. By vibrating a rigid panel with a GMM, the speaker creates a 360-degree acoustic field around it, where acoustic pressures are almost equalized. This acoustic field creation technology is dubbed "AAPS (Advanced Acoustic Panel System)." Other standard speaker systems create acoustic fields, which only spread forward. TDK has placed a series of flat-panel speaker systems on the market in collaboration with New Transducers Ltd. of the UK. TDK considers this latest surround speaker system based on AAPS as the integration of these previous products.
GMMs feature quick response and strong power due to expansion and contraction. If an exciter loaded with a GMM (GMM exciter) vibrates a rigid panel, a number of small vibration areas will be created across the panel. According to TDK, this results in uniform acoustic pressure distribution around the speaker system.
This surround system consists of two satellite speakers for right and left channels and a subwoofer. The satellite speaker's maximum output is 10 W, while that of the subwoofer is 20 W. The system also features pseudo surround capability that renders illusion of surround sound without using the subwoofer.