Audfly, a hearing/acoustic technology company based in Hong Kong, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring its innovative Focusound directional-audio speaker into production. Since 2019, Audfly has been working on this glass-panel speaker that uses ultrasound to create a personal sound bubble for the listener without disturbing others in the same room, all without needing headphones.
While the concept of directional audio using ultrasound is not new, the company claims that the Focusound’s unique feature is that it’s the first device of its kind to use a transparent glass surface.
The speaker is the result of years of research and development and consists of two components: a multi-layered glass panel housing a tiny vibration unit that directs audio over a narrow field to the listener and an aluminum frame housing the 14-inch panel.
The speaker’s transparent design allows it to display family photos without affecting its audio delivery. The Focusound also comes with a hinged stand for easy angle adjustment.
Audfly’s Focusound speaker system also includes a driver box that allows users to connect source devices such as a television, computer, games console, or smartphone via cable or Bluetooth. The system employs an exclusive Multiple SoundZone Algorithm, promising a full-range sound effect and spatial audio experience for the listener.
With a frequency range of 300 Hz to 20 kHz, a sound pressure level of 74 dB, and a total harmonic distortion of less than 10%, the Focusound delivers decent sound quality. However, the company admits its focus is more on directional sound than pure fidelity, so it may not satisfy audiophiles looking for high-fidelity sound.
The speaker is available for a Kickstarter pledge of $329 for a single unit or $419 for a pair, while the expected retail price for a Solo unit is $699 and a Duo is $969. Shipping is expected to begin in June if the already-funded campaign continues as planned.