In the flat-panel TV era, manufacturers are innovating at a breakneck pace. We have TVs running on powerful octa-core processors, spitting out millions of pixels, and delivering ridiculously vivid and bright images. At the same time, they are also getting thinner and generally prettier. But if there's one area where they can be said to have regressed, it's the audio department.
Just look at where your impossibly thin flat panel TV's speakers are placed: Long gone are the days when TVs had front-facing speakers. Sound, it seems, has literally taken a back seat as most current TVs have down- or even rear-facing speakers. In many cases, this can lead to muddled audio and an overall underwhelming viewing experience . SoundScoopz, a $19 accessory, aims to change this sorry state of affairs.
SoundScoopz is a super low-tech solution that you can attach to your flat-panel TV's down-firing speakers using the adhesive strip provided with each unit. It simply uses its shape to reflect the sound waves in the viewer's direction — as if they were coming from a front-firing driver. If a demo video posted by SoundScoopz creator Steve Boden is anything to go by, the difference in sound quality (or more precisely clarity) can be appreciable.
Why this matters : Our growing distaste for bezels has meant TV designers have had to relegate speakers to the back, leaving them pointing downwards (or in some cases backwards) instead of right at the viewer. A serious downside (pun intended) to this is that our TVs don't tend to sound as good as they can. SoundScoopz offers a simple yet effective solution to this frustrating problem.
"The patent pending angles, shapes, curves, dimensions, materials and application improve the direction and quality of the mid and upper frequencies from the existing factory TV speakers. Voices sound clear, crisp and not muffled," reads the SoundScoopz Kickstarter page. Patent pending or not, it's not an entirely novel concept, as we have had similar accessories for various iPad models for a while now.
As of press time, Steve and Kathleen Boden (the husband-wife duo behind SoundScoopz) have raised around $5,700 of their modest $12,000 funding goal. These funds will help defray production costs.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.