TDK Electronics · TDK Europe


November 3, 2022

TDK PiezoListen™ enables the world’s thinnest boombox created by Joe Grand

  • Boombox project inspired by ultra-thin TDK PiezoListen™ allowing nearly any surface to become a speaker
  • Hardware hacker Joe Grand will introduce his latest creation as a premiere at Hackaday Supercon, Nov. 5, 2022 in Pasadena, California
  • TDK will also show The World’s Thinnest Boombox at the electronica show in Munich, Germany, from November 15-18, 2022 and at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from January 5-8, 2023.
  • A video will be released on Grand's YouTube channel on November 15, 2022 that follows the project's creation from start to finish.

TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) has partnered with Joe Grand, the renowned inventor and white-hat hardware hacker also known as “Kingpin.” Grand created The World’s Thinnest Boombox leveraging the ultra-thin TDK PiezoListen™ line of speakers. The project was born of Grand’s affection for the music and culture of the 1980s. He will debut the high-tech retro-style sound system to audiences on November 5 at the 2022 Hackaday Supercon at the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, Calif. Grand has also co-produced a video which follows the project's journey that will be released on his YouTube channel on November 15.

Grand’s portable sound system is as much art as technology, with a look back to 1980s music culture in the U.S. where pop, rap and hip-hop sounds were exploding and fueling the sales of ever-larger portable stereos in the U.S. and beyond. The boombox project is an open-source music player complete with custom circuit board artwork, capacitive touch sensing buttons, and the ultra-thin piezo speaker elements by TDK. The bill of materials also includes a bundle of TDK capacitors and inductors.

The PiezoListen™ line of speakers from TDK start at a thickness of just 0.49 mm, making them among the thinnest such devices in the world, far surpassing existing speakers. This enables designers to overcome installation space constraints. The flexibility of these speakers makes it possible to produce sound from many kinds of objects and materials. PiezoListen actuators achieve a high sound pressure even at low voltages of 24 Vp-p or below and produce sound over a broader frequency range and with a greater output in the low range than conventional piezoelectric speakers. The products were made possible by the development of a low-profile, high-displacement piezoelectric element reflecting TDK's proprietary multilayering and material technologies.

The project will also be featured at the upcoming electronica show in Munich, Germany, from November 15-18, 2022, and at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from January 5-8, 2023.

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