Kia preparing individual ‘sound zones’ for future stereos


Ever fought over the road trip playlist with your family? Kia wants to make that a thing of the past with its Separated Sound Zone technology.

The new Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) setup works by isolating individual audio fields, with speakers scattered around the cabin to reduce or amplify certain frequencies and cut any ‘overlap’ between the sound zones.

People in each zone can connect up to Bluetooth and play their music or make phone calls in privacy, with Kia likening the effect to that of nose-cancelling headphones… minus the headphones, of course.

Given it’s targeted to specific zones in the cabin, Kia says passengers can enjoy a near-silent ride, while drivers are fed more noise from the road, along with updates from things like the satellite navigation system.

“Customers in the autonomous navigation era will demand increasingly customisable entertainment options within their vehicles, which includes technological innovations such as the Separated Sound System,” says Kang-duck Ih, research fellow at Kia’s NVH Research Lab.

“I hope by providing drivers and passengers with tailored, independent audio spaces, they will experience a more comfortable and entertaining transportation environment.”

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