Bongiovi Aviation's Speakerless Audio system for business aircraft cabins uses transducers attached to the back of interior panels, whose vibrations turn the entire cabin into a uniform “immersive” audio experience, without the need for speakers, woofers, or subwoofers to deliver high fidelity sound.
“Speakers are old technology,” said Heath Cohen, v-p of sales and marketing at Bongiovi. “Now there’s a new alternative to outfit your jet with immersive sound throughout your cabin—the same quality you get on your yacht or at home.” At the cabin mockup at the company’s NBAA 2018 display (Booth 641), 18 transducers, each about 2.5 inches in diameter and less than an inch thick, are mounted behind the interior panels.
Typically used in speaker systems to vibrate the speaker cones, transducers previously haven’t had the sound quality to support an application of this type. But its patented Bongiovi Digital Power Station (DPS) signal processing technology overcomes the limitations, according to the company. The technology was developed by parent company Bongiovi Acoustic Labs, founded by record producer Tony Bongiovi, who began experimenting with bringing quality audio into aircraft in the 1980s as a pilot and Twin Comanche owner.
The transducers, weighing about three ounces each, are easy to install and don’t require precise placement; once the installation is complete, professional audio producers “tune” each cabin to ensure maximum sound fidelity. The audio can be operated through any cabin management system. As additional benefits, the system can save weight compared with speaker systems with woofers and sub-woofers, and no holes have to be cut into interior paneling to accommodate speakers, creating a cleaner look in the cabin.
Costs are currently a little higher for the Bongiovi system compared with conventional installations, but the company expects the price to decline through economies of scale. The amplifier and other system components are manufactured and certified by Mid Continent Controls, which is hosting Bongiovi’s display.
Honda Aircraft was the launch customer for the Bongiovi Speaker-less Audio system, selecting it as the sound system for the HondaJet Elite. Bongiovi is currently in discussions with other OEMs and completion centers, and the audio system is available for retrofit installation, with some aftermarket orders in hand, Cohen said.
Bongiovi also makes a headphone module for aircraft cabins, designed to provide superior sound quality and clarity in high-noise environments.