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Title:
A SPEAKER ARRANGEMENT AND A METHOD OF PROVIDING THE SPEAKER ARRANGEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/214868
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A speaker arrangement, such as a pillow or a mattress, comprising a resilient material in which two housings are provided, at least one of which has a sound generator. The housings are rigidly interconnected by a stiff element so that the relative positions and directions of the housings are maintained when the resilient material is deformed by e.g. a person resting on it.

Inventors:
EJE, Niels (Geelsskovvej 29, 2830 Virum, 2830, DK)
EJE, Inge (Geelsskovvej 29, 2830 Virum, 2830, DK)
Application Number:
EP2019/056784
Publication Date:
November 14, 2019
Filing Date:
March 19, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
GEFION RECORDS APS (Geelsskovvej 29, 2830 Virum, 2830, DK)
International Classes:
H04R5/02; H04R1/02; H04R1/32
Foreign References:
EP1179968A22002-02-13
US9682641B12017-06-20
US4638884A1987-01-27
US5321763A1994-06-14
EP1519617A22005-03-30
CA2023084A11992-02-11
US20130079584A12013-03-28
US0614128A1898-11-15
US4084139A1978-04-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INSPICOS P/S (Kogle Allé 2, 2970 Hørsholm, 2970, DK)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A speaker arrangement comprising : a first housing comprising a first sound generator, a second housing, - a stiff element interconnecting the first and second housing, and a resilient material, at least the first housing being provided inside the resilient material .

2. The speaker arrangement according to claim 1 wherein the second housing is provided inside the resilient material . 3. The speaker arrangement according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the resilient material comprises a foam material.

4. The speaker arrangement according to any of claims 1-3, wherein the first housing defines a first, sound output, direction, and wherein the stiff element defines a second direction, an angle between the first and second directions being 60-90 degrees. 5. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first housing has a first cavity and wherein the stiff element has a second cavity connected to the first cavity.

6. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the second housing comprises a second sound generator. 7. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first housing has a sound output and wherein the stiff element is connected to the first housing at a position opposite to the sound output.

8. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims wherein the first housing and the second housing are positioned on opposite sides of a centre line, the centre line being perpendicular to the second direction and positioned at a centre of the resilient element, when the speaker arrangement is projected on to a first plane comprising the second direction and being perpendicular to a second plane comprising the first and second directions.

9. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first housing has a sound output and wherein one or more sound transport channel(s) is/are provided through the resilient material from the sound opening and toward an outer surface of the resilient material .

10. The speaker arrangement according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the resilient material forms at least part of a pillow.

11. The speaker arrangement according to any of claims 1-9, wherein the resilient material forms at least part of a mattress.

12. A method for producing the speaker arrangement according to claim 1, the method comprising the steps of: providing an assembly comprising the first and second housings connected to the stiff element, - providing the resilient material, and positioning at least the first housing in the resilient material.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the step of providing the assembly comprises providing and combining two elements each forming a part of the first housing, a part of the second housing and a part of the stiff element. 14. The method according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the step of providing the resilient material comprises providing the resilient material comprising a first and a second channel for the first and second housings, respectively, the first channel having a first symmetry axis, the second channel having a second symmetry axis, an angle between the two symmetry axes being 0-60 degrees.

Description:
A SPEAKER ARRANGEMENT AND A METHOD OF PROVIDING THE SPEAKER ARRANGEMENT

The present invention relates to a speaker arrangement and in particular a speaker arrangement provided in a resilient element such as a pillow or mattress.

Speaker arrangements may be seen in EP 1519617 A2, CA 2023084 Al, US 2013079584 A1 and US 614128 A and US 4084139 A.

A problem exists when incorporating separate speakers into e.g . a pillow in that the pillow will be deformed when the user rests his/her head on the pillow. This deformation will alter the directions of the individual speakers in the pillow so the sound is no longer guaranteed to be directed toward the user's ears. The present invention aims at solving this problem . In a first aspect, the invention relates to a speaker arrangement comprising : a first housing comprising a first sound generator, a second housing, a stiff element interconnecting the first and second housing, and a resilient material, at least the first housing being provided inside the resilient material .

In the present context, a speaker arrangement is an arrangement configured to output sound . Often, a speaker arrangement comprises a sound generator fed by electrical conductors by suitable electronic circuits, such as an amplifier. Such electronics may be provided in the resilient material or outside of the resilient material . Clearly, the sound signals or electrical signals may be received from any type of source in any desired manner. Thus, the arrangement may comprise an antenna for receiving wireless signals, optical conductors for receiving optical signals and/or electrical conductors for receiving electrical signals.

Any type of signal adaptation may be used, such as amplification, filtering, limiting or the like. Also, if multiple sources are available, a selection may be made between such sources. For example, it may be desired to adapt a filtering to an influence caused by the resilient material on the sound output from the sound generator.

A user may control the operation of the arrangement by controlling the electronic circuits, such as via a remote controlling unit, such as an app on a mobile device.

In the present context, a sound generator may be any type of element able to output sound. In many situations the sound generator is called a loudspeaker. Often, sound is output by movement of a membrane or diaphragm, where the movement is caused by a motor based on the interaction of a permanent magnet and a varying magnetic field in e.g . a coil.

Alternatively, the motor may be based on deformation of a piezo electric element. A sound generator often is provided in a housing wherein the membrane and often also the motor are provided .

In the present context, a housing will form an enclosure in which the membrane and optionally the motor are provided . Often, the housing will comprise a sound output for sound to escape the housing through. In many situations, the membrane or other movable element may divide an inner space of the housing into at last two chambers. The sound output, if present, may open from outside of the housing into one of the chambers, often called the front chamber. The other chamber, often called the back chamber, may be sealed, where "sealed" may be in a gas tight manner or an acoustic manner. Acoustic sealing may still allow gas passage, such as via a vent forming a gas passage with a frequency cut-off which is sufficiently low, such as below 100Hz, such as below 50Hz, such as below 20Hz, such as below 10Hz. This vent may have pressure equalizing properties in much the same manner as the Eustachian tube in the human ear.

Housings for sound generators often are made of solid or stiff materials, such as plastics, polymers, nylon, wood, concrete, metal, laminates, such as fibre-reinforced laminate, rubber or the like. Naturally, the stiff element may be made of the same material or another of such materials.

In the present context, the stiff element is an element preferably maintaining a relative position and angle between the first and second housings even when the resilient material is deformed, such as when a user rests his/her head on the resilient material forming a pillow. Often, it is desired that the stiff element deflects less than 10%, such as less than 8%, such as less than 5%, such as 3%, such as 2%, of its length when a force of 0.1N, such as 0.2 N, such as 0.5N, such I N, such as 1.5N, such as 2N is applied to a centre of the stiff element. Preferably, the stiff element is rigidly connected to the first and second housings respectively. Thus, the stiff element will maintain relative position and direction of the first and second housings, during deformation of the resilient element.

In the present context, the resilient material may be understood as any deformable material which may be used as a pillow or a part of a mattress that have a Young's modulus of less than 0.1, such as 0.01, such as 0.001.

Clearly, the resilient material may be a solid material or a porous or gas-filled material, such as a foam, woven or non-woven material or a material formed by a number of elements, such as feathers. Any material usual in mattresses, pillows, padding or the like may be used. Usual materials are foams, such as polyurethane foam, feathers, nonwovens, wool, cotton or the like.

Clearly, a foam may be made of e.g. a polymer having in itself a lower deformability, where the foam shape brings about the resiliency sought for.

The resiliency of the resilient material may be an average resiliency, as the material need not be absolutely homogeneous.

In the present context at least the first housing is provided inside the resilient material. Thus, the resiliency brought about by the resilient material may be achieved at least substantially all around the first housing. Then, preferably, the first housing is not to any substantial degree, apart from the connection to the stiff element, contacted by a material less resilient that that of the resilient material.

When the first housing is provided inside the resilient material, the first housing is able to move, due to the resiliency, within the resilient material. This movement may be caused by a force acting on the speaker arrangement. The stiff element, however, ensures that the relative positions and directions of the first and second housings are maintained. The arrangement comprises a second housing also connected to the stiff element.

Preferably, also the second housing is provided inside the resilient material. Then, also the stiff element may be provided inside the resilient material.

When the second housing is provided inside the resilient material, the first and second housings may both be able to move inside the resilient material and thus adapt to deformation of the resilient element. A particular deformation scenario is described further below.

In one embodiment, it is desired that the first and second housings have at least

substantially the same dimensions or cross sectional areas so that the housings when exposed to the same force are displaced the same distance within the resilient material.

Clearly, also the second housing may comprise a sound generator, so that stereo audio may be achieved if the listener positions his/her head on an axis symmetrically between the first and second housings. Alternatively, the second housing may also be empty or used for other purposes, such as holding the above electronic circuits and the like. Then, the second housing still may fulfil the task of balancing the movement of the arrangement inside the resilient material when the resilient material is deformed.

Preferably, the first housing defines a first, sound output, direction, and wherein the stiff element defines a second direction, an angle between the first and second directions being 30-90 degrees, such as 60-70 degrees or 75-85 degrees. Clearly, if the second housing has a sound generator, the second housing may have a third, sound output, direction, with the same angle to the second direction. Clearly, the stiff element need not be straight. Then, the second direction may be a straight direction from one end of the stiff element to the other or from the position where the stiff element engages the first housing to the position of the stiff element where it engages the second housing.

In this situation, the sound output direction may be formed by a sound output of the housing. If the housing has a sound output in a plane surface, the sound output direction often will be perpendicular to this plane surface. If the sound output is on a curved surface, the sound output direction often will be along a symmetry axis of the surface.

Then, the above stiffness of the stiff element may be in a direction directly between the first and third directions, if the second housing comprises a sound generator, and/or along the first or third direction. In the situation where a plane comprising the first and second directions is vertical, the force may be applied along a vertical direction.

As mentioned above, the first housing often has therein a first cavity. Then, the stiff element may have a second cavity connected to the first cavity. The first cavity may be the so-called back chamber of the sound generator. In some situations, it is desired to have as large a back chamber as possible. However, it may not be desired to increase the size of the first housing. Thus, a larger back chamber may be achieved by having this chamber extend into a cavity in the stiff element. Clearly the stiff element may comprise a single cavity connected to the first chamber.

Alternatively, the stiff element may comprise two separate cavities, where one is connected to the first cavity and the other is connected to a cavity in the second housing when the second housing also comprises a sound generator. Then, the back chambers of both sound generators may be increased.

It may be desired, when the first housing has a sound output, that the stiff element is connected to the first housing at a position opposite to the sound output. Thus, the stiff element is connected to the first housing as far from the sound output as possible. Then, the sound output may be directed toward a surface of the resilient element which is engageable for a person, such as suitable for a person to rest his/her head on. Often, the head will rest between the first and second housings, so that it is desired that the stiff element is covered with as thick a layer of the resilient material as possible in order for the person to not feel the stiff element through the resilient material.

In one situation, the first housing and the second housing are positioned on opposite sides of a centre line, the centre line being perpendicular to the second direction and at a centre of the resilient element, when the speaker projection is projected on to a first plane comprising the second direction and being perpendicular to a second plane comprising the first and second directions. When the second direction is horizontal and the first and third directions are perpendicular to horizontal second direction, the centre line is horizontal. When the resilient material is pillow-shaped, the centre line goes through the centre of the pillow and is provided between the two housings which are provided symmetrically within the pillow. When a user rests his/her head at a position at the centre line, the head rests between the first and second housings so that audio output by the first and optionally also second housing will be directed upwardly and toward the ear(s) of the person. Clearly, the same will be the situation if the arrangement forms a mattress.

Naturally, sound will be able to travel from the sound generator and through the resilient material to the surroundings and a listener. However, it may be desired that the first housing has a sound output and wherein one or more sound transport channel(s) is/are provided through the resilient material from the sound opening and toward an outer surface of the resilient material. This channel or these channels may extend directly from the sound output toward the surroundings of the resilient material or may extend along the direction of the sound (the first/third direction). The channels may be through-going from the sound output to an outer surface of the resilient material or may be closed in one or both ends.

As mentioned, the resilient material may form at least part of a pillow or of a mattress. As the distance from the first/second housing to a person's ear may differ in the two situations, the angle between the second direction and the first/third directions may be different for the two situations. Preferably, the angle is about 80 degrees in pillows but it may be selected larger in the mattress situation, as the arrangement may be positioned farther below the ears of the person. Alternatively, the angle may be selected smaller, such as if the mattress material is harder, as the head will sink less into the mattress material, so that the arrangement may be positioned closer to the upper surface of the mattress.

A second aspect of the invention relates to a method for producing the speaker arrangement according to the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of: providing an assembly comprising the first and second housings interconnected to the stiff element, providing the resilient material, and positioning the assembly in the resilient material.

Naturally, any situation, embodiment or the like of the first aspect of the invention is equally relevant for the second aspect of the invention. Clearly, the arrangement may be provided assembled or as a number of separate elements to be assembled. In one situation, the step of providing the assembly comprises providing and combining two elements each forming a part of the first housing, a part of the second housing and a part of the stiff element. Often, the sound generator(s) is provided between these elements or within one element, before the two elements are combined. The same may be the situation for any electronics desired provided in a housing or the stiff element.

The resilient element may be provided as a moulded element if desired. Channels or cavities for the first and/or second housings may subsequently be provided, if desired, as well as for the stiff element. Alternatively, the mould may take this into account.

The step of positioning at least the first housing of the assembly in the resilient material may comprise providing the housing and optionally also the second housing and the stiff element in the resilient material subsequent to the moulding thereof of subsequent to the providing of the channels/cavities if desired at all. Clearly, the assembly may alternatively be provided and positioned in a mould in which the material forming the resilient material is then fed. It may be desired to be able to remove the assembly from the resilient material if the resilient material is desired cleaned, washed, disinfected or the like or if replacement of the assembly is desired .

If desired, the step of providing the resilient material comprises providing the resilient material comprising a first and a second channel for the first and second housings, respectively, the first channel having a first symmetry axis, the second channel having a second symmetry axis, an angle between the two symmetry axes being 0-60 degrees, such as 10-30 degrees or. in this connection, the first and second symmetry axes may be the first and second directions. Then, the channels are directed along the direction of the sound output, which again may be directed toward the assumed or intended directions from the sound output(s) to the ear(s) of the person.

Yet another aspect of the invention relates to a speaker arrangement comprising : a first housing comprising a first sound generator, a second housing, - a connection element interconnecting the first and second housing, and a resilient material, at least the first housing being provided inside the resilient material, wherein the first housing has a first cavity and wherein the connection element has a second cavity connected to the first cavity. This aspect may be combined with the above aspects. The main difference being that the connecting element not needing to be stiff. A resilient or bendable material may be used, so that the arrangement may be deformed, such as when a person rests his/her head on the resilient material .

All other embodiments, situations, alternatives and the like from the above aspects of the invention are equally relevant in the present aspect of the invention.

The connection element may be made of e.g . plastics, rubber, polymers or the like, such as materials used for tubes, hoses or the like. Clearly, deforming a connection element having therein a cavity may deform the cavity and thus alter the volume thereof. This deformation may alter the acoustic properties of the sound generator, but the advantages are that less stiff elements are provided in the resilient material .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will now be further described with reference to the drawings, in which :

Fig . 1 illustrates a speaker arrangement inside a resilient material .

Fig .2 illustrates a housing with an extended back volume.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In general the present invention relates to a speaker arrangement and in particular a speaker arrangement provided in a resilient element such as a pillow or a mattress. In the following, the invention will primarily be described in relation to an embodiment where the speaker arrangement has an assembly inside the resilient material, and where at least one housing comprises a sound generator, and wherein the resilient material is pillow-shaped .

The invention may thus be used for playing sounds in a variety of embodiments comprising e.g. pillows and mattresses.

Fig . l illustrates a speaker arrangement 100 comprising an assembly and a resilient material 102. The assembly comprises a first housing 104, a second housing 106 interconnected by a stiff element 108.

The resilient material 102 has sound transport channels (not shown) extending from the first and second housings 104 and 106 and toward an outer surface of the resilient material, preferably at the ears of the person. Naturally, sound may escape the resilient material without such channels. The sound channels may in one embodiment be slits extending along the sound direction in the resilient material 102, but also a porosity, or an increased porosity, may be used for transporting sound .

The first housing 104 comprises a sound generator 110 configured to output sound in a first direction 112, so that when a user rests his/her head 120 on the speaker arrangement 100, the first direction 112 is directed towards an ear of the head 120.

The stiff element 108 of the assembly usually is disposed horizontally and defines a second direction 114, an angle existing between the first and second directions 112 and 114. This angle depends on the size and hardness of the resilient material (the resulting resting position of the head and ears). It may further depend on the length of the stiff element 108.

The purpose of the stiff element 108 is to ensure that the first and second housings 104 and 106 are rigidly interconnected, and that the relative position and direction of the first and second housings 105 and 106 do not vary when the resilient material is deformed. Thus when a user rests his/her head 120 the speaker on the arrangement 100, the sound direction is still directed toward the ear of the head.

The second housing may in another embodiment also comprise a sound generator (not shown), thus defining a third, sound output, direction 116, usually with the same angle to the second direction 114. Thus when a user rests his/her head on the speaker arrangement 100, the sound generator of the second housing 106 may output a sound in a third direction 116 directed toward the other ear of the head 120.

Usually, the user will rest his/her head on the centre of the resilient material, especially if it is a pillow, whereby the assembly preferably is positioned symmetrically around this centre, which is illustrated by a line 118 which then also is provided directly between the housings.

Preferably, the stiff element is connected to or engages the housings as far from the sound output(s) as possible. Then, the stiff element will be as far away from the head as possible while performing its task. Then, the stiff element will not be felt by the user when resting the head on the pillow. Clearly, the resilience of the resilient material may be selected also so that the head will not under normal circumstances deform the resilient material to a degree where the head may feel the stiff element.

Fig.2 illustrates one of the first and second housings which may be used in another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment a detailed view of the sound generator 110 is seen in the first housing 104.

The sound generator 110 comprises a front chamber 202 and a back chamber 204 divided by a membrane 206. The sound generator 110 further comprises a motor 208 for driving the membrane 206. The motor may be any device suitable for controlling a speaker membrane such as moving coil, moving magnet, balanced armature, a piezo electric actuator or the like.

In the embodiment of Fig. 2 the back chamber 204 of the sound generator 110 is increased by extending into the stiff element 108. Using a cavity in the stiff element 108 to increase the back chamber 204 facilitate to maintain the same size of the first housing 104 while increasing the effective area of the back chamber 204, and without reducing the area of the front chamber 202. Increasing the back chamber brings about acoustic advantages.

Naturally, the back chamber of a sound generator in one housing may utilize a cavity provided inside a part of or all of the stiff element. Alternatively, a sound generator may be provided in each housing so that two cavities are provided in the stiff element. Usually, these two cavities are not acoustically connected, but situations exist where a connection of the two back chambers is advantageous. Manufacture of the present assembly may be rather simple in that the housings and stiff element may be moulded in two parts within which the sound generator(s) may be provided before assembly.

Naturally, cables and other electronics may also be provided inside the assembly if desired . Usually a cable will extend to outside of the resilient material for connection to an audio source.

The resilient material may be moulded around the assembly, or the resilient material may be provided with cavities for the housings and optionally also for the stiff element. In this manner, a slit may be provided for introducing the assembly within the resilient material and also removal thereof for washing of the resilient material or servicing or replacement of the assembly.