(19)
(11)EP 3 516 885 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 17787040.9

(22)Date of filing:  21.09.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04R 9/06(2006.01)
H04R 9/04(2006.01)
H04R 9/02(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/NL2017/050627
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/056814 (29.03.2018 Gazette  2018/13)

(54)

LOUDSPEAKER UNIT WITH MULTIPLE DRIVE UNITS

LAUTSPRECHEREINHEIT MIT MEHREREN TREIBEREINHEITEN

UNITÉ HAUT-PARLEUR AVEC DES UNITÉS D'ACTIONNEMENT MULTIPLES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 22.09.2016 NL 2017514

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.07.2019 Bulletin 2019/31

(73)Proprietor: Mayht B.V.
2627 CG Delft (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • SCHEEK, Mattias Jeffrey
    2627 CG Delft (NL)
  • SCHEEK, Timothy Ruben
    2627 CG Delft (NL)

(74)Representative: Nederlandsch Octrooibureau 
P.O. Box 29720
2502 LS The Hague
2502 LS The Hague (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-00/67523
US-A1- 2006 222 200
DE-A1- 19 523 682
US-A1- 2015 271 605
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field of the invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to a loudspeaker unit having a membrane and a plurality of drive units driving the membrane.

    Background art



    [0002] International patent publication WO2013/047792 discloses a speaker with a light and thin design, wherein multiple drive units are connected in parallel to a diaphragm. The drive units are each provided with multiple coil members positioned in parallel close to each other and connected to a frame of the speaker, and with multiple magnetic members with magnets attached to the diaphragm. In this disclosure, a coil member may comprise multiple series connected windings.

    [0003] US patent publication US2006/222200 discloses an electrodynamic loudspeaker having a magnetic circuit and a vibrator. The vibrator comprises a single coil bobbin with two voice coils wound around and fixed to a portion of the coil bobbin. The two voice coils face opposite poles of a magnet. A magnetic member is furthermore fixed to the coil bobbin at a position spaced apart from the voice coils.

    Summary of the invention



    [0004] The present invention seeks to provide an improved loudspeaker unit having an improved performance in efficiency and power.

    [0005] According to the present invention, a loudspeaker unit is provided as defined in the appended claims.

    [0006] The present invention structure and mutual element orientation allow to provide a more efficient and cost effective loudspeaker unit.

    Short description of drawings



    [0007] The present invention will be discussed in more detail below, with reference to the attached drawings, in which

    Fig. 1A shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention loudspeaker unit;

    Fig. 1B shows a side view of the top part of the loudspeaker unit 1 of Fig. 1A;

    Fig. 1C shows the associated side view of the bottom part of the loudspeaker unit 1 of Fig. 1A;

    Fig. 2A shows a side view of a further embodiment of the present invention loudspeaker unit; and

    Fig. 2B shows a cross sectional view of the loudspeaker unit of Fig. 2A along the line IIB-IIB.


    Description of embodiments



    [0008] The present invention provides for an improved loudspeaker unit having a simple structural and electronic design, and hence have advantages over prior art loudspeakers in both technical sense and in cost efficiency. Prior art electrodynamic loudspeakers use magnets and a magnetic circuit of pole pieces, a back plate and a top plate, which channel the magnetic field into a magnetic gap. In the magnetic gap a voice coil is positioned which is mechanically coupled to a conus producing the sound waves. Other principles are used in loudspeakers of the electrostatic type and planar loudspeakers. For electrodynamic type of loudspeakers, the inductance increases when increasing the power capacity of the loudspeaker, the sensitivity is relatively limited and the structure requires a large format in view of the maximum sound level that can be produced. The electrostatic and planar type of loudspeakers have a disadvantage of a limited dynamic range and a bad low frequency response.

    [0009] In accordance with the present invention embodiments, a more powerful and efficient loudspeaker unit is provided without having a too high inductance, i.e. power can be increased without a (significant) increase in inductance. Furthermore, the sensitivity is increased, and due to the absence of a closed magnetic circuit, the dimensions of the loudspeaker unit can be relatively small. As multiple drive units are employed, the support to the sound producing membrane is more evenly distributed, which will have a positive influence on the longevity and required rigidity of the membrane (membrane resonance will be less pronounced without needing to increase the moving mass of the membrane in an inefficient manner). This will result in an increased longevity and efficiency of the membrane and thus the entire loudspeaker unit.

    [0010] Fig. 1A shows a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention loudspeaker unit 1, wherein a (flat) membrane 2 with associated voice coil 3 of a drive unit 5 is shown separated from the rest of the loudspeaker unit 1 for clarity. Fig. 1B shows a side view of the top part of the loudspeaker unit 1 of Fig. 1A, and Fig. 1C shows the associated side view of the bottom part of the loudspeaker unit 1 of Fig. 1A. It is noted that the membrane 2 may have a different shape than the flat membrane 2 embodiment shown in Fig. 1A-1C.

    [0011] The present invention embodiments of the loudspeaker unit 1 have a membrane 2 and a plurality of drive units (indicated by arrows 5 in Fig. 1C) driving the membrane 2. Each of the plurality of drive units 5 comprises at least one voice coil 3 and at least two magnets 4 in an embodiment, or in a more generic sense, n voice coils (3) and at least n+1 magnets (4), n being an integer larger than or equal to 1. The at least two (n+1, n1) magnets 4 are magnets 4 with an axial magnetization which are stacked in axial direction with similar pole parts (N/S) of adjacent ones of the at least two magnets 4 facing each other (i.e. with oriented with opposite polarity). The at least two magnets 4 are separated in the stack over a magnet separation distance dm, the magnet separation distance dm being substantially equal to a width ws in the stack direction of the at least one (n, n1) voice coil 3. As this configuration does not require any top plate, bottom plate, pole piece, or other magnetic field guidance elements, the construction can be straightforward, simple and economical. Furthermore, the structural positioning of the voice coil 3 in between the two magnets 4 allows for a double excursion possibility, greatly increasing performance of the loudspeaker unit 1.

    [0012] As shown in the side view of Fig. 1B, the at least one voice coil 3 is mechanically fixed to the membrane 2, i.e. the membrane 2 will have the same movement as the at least one voice coil 3. As the voice coil 3 can be designed to be lighter than magnet 4, as a result of which the dynamic response of the loudspeaker unit 1 can be better.

    [0013] In an exemplary embodiment, the at least one voice coil 3 is attached to a cylinder shaped support element 6, e.g. provided as a coil wound on an outside surface of the cylinder shaped support element 6. The cylinder shaped support element 6 is moveable with respect to the at least two magnets 4, e.g. by selecting a proper inner diameter thereof.

    [0014] As shown most clearly in the perspective view of Fig. 1A, the plurality of drive units 5 (of which the magnets 4 are clearly visible) are positioned in a parallel configuration. The drive units 5 may be uniformly distributed (over the surface area of the membrane 2), e.g. in a grid or circular pattern. In further alternative embodiments, the drive units 5 may be grouped, or provided in a nonuniform distribution. This may allow specific acoustic characteristics to be provided by the present loudspeaker unit 1.

    [0015] The magnets 4 of the drive units 5 are e.g. implemented as neodymium magnets which provide a high magnetic field in view of the volume of the magnet 4. In further embodiments, the at least two magnets 4 are cylinder shaped magnets], which provides a good interaction with the associated voice coil 3. In more general terms, the at least two magnets 4 are axial magnets, with a cylindrical, elliptical, square, rectangular, or polygonal cross section (wherein the shape of the at least one voice coil 3 is then selected congruent with the shape of the at least two magnets 4).

    [0016] As best seen in the side view of Fig. 1C, the at least two magnets 4 are fixed at the magnet separation distance dm by a spacer 7. As the present invention embodiments do not need a specifically magnetic circuit, the spacer 7 may be of a non-magnetic material, e.g. a plastic material, which will allow a cost effective assembly and manufacturing of the loudspeaker unit 1. In a comparative example, the spacer 7 may be a virtual spacer, using the magnetic force of adjacent magnets 4 with the same pole (N/S) facing each other. Small structural elements may then be positioned in the loudspeaker unit to keep the at least two magnets 4 of each drive unit 5 in position.

    [0017] Also shown in Fig. 1C is the embodiment implementation wherein the at least two magnets 4 are fixedly attached to a loudspeaker base frame 8. The loudspeaker base frame 8 may also be of a non-magnetic material such as plastic, but for structural reasons it could also be manufactured from a metal (even magnetic) material.

    [0018] To further enhance the structural rigidity of the loudspeaker unit 1, further structural elements 9-11 can be provided, comprising a first ring element 9 and a top ring element 10. Vertical posts 11 may be provided for mechanically interconnecting the first ring element 9 and top ring element 10 to the loudspeaker base frame 8. The top ring element 10 may be provided to support a static ring part of the membrane 2.

    [0019] Fig. 2A shows a side view of a further embodiment of the present invention loudspeaker unit 1 and Fig. 2B shows a cross sectional view of the loudspeaker unit 1 along the line IIB-IIB in Fig. 2A. In this embodiment, more voice coils 3 and consequently more magnets 4 for each drive unit 5 is provided, in particular three voice coils 3 and four magnets 4 in each of the four drive units 5. The further elements constituting this embodiment are similar to the elements described with reference to the embodiment of Fig. 1A-1C, and indicated using the same reference numerals.

    [0020] In generic wording, this group of embodiments can be described in that the at least one voice coil 3 comprises n voice coils 3 and n+1 magnets 4, n being an integer larger than 2. In the embodiment of Fig, 2A and 2B, n=3. The n voice coils 3 are positioned in an axial direction over a coil separation distance ds, the coil separation distance ds being substantially equal to a width wm in the stack direction of the magnet 4. The dimensions (ds, dm, ws, wm) as used in this description are clearly indicated in the side view and cross sectional view of Fig. 2A and 2B.

    [0021] In a further embodiment adjacent ones of the n voice coils 3 have an opposite winding direction. It will be clear that in cooperation with the polarity orientation of the magnets 4 in the stack of each drive unit 5 (i.e. with facing magnetic poles N/S), this will allow to amplify movement of the membrane 2, and as a result in improved performance of the loudspeaker unit 1.

    [0022] For all the embodiments described with reference to the figures above, even further embodiments may be envisaged. The at least one voice coil 3 of each of the plurality of drive units 5 are electrically connected to each other in a parallel circuit connection in one further embodiment. This ensures a proper and similar operation of all parallel positioned drive units 5. As an alternative, the at least one voice coil 3 of each of the plurality of drive units 5 are electrically connected to each other in a combined parallel and series circuit connection. This embodiment would allow to modify the loudspeaker unit 1 characteristics for specific needs or specifications.

    [0023] The present invention has been described above with reference to a number of exemplary embodiments as shown in the drawings. Modifications and alternative implementations of some parts or elements are possible, and are included in the scope of protection as defined in the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. Loudspeaker unit having a membrane (2) and a plurality of drive units (5) driving the membrane (2),
    wherein each of the plurality of drive units (5) comprises n voice coils (3) and a stack of at least n+1 magnets (4), n being an integer larger than or equal to 1,
    wherein the at least n+1 magnets (4) are magnets with an axial magnetization which are stacked in axial direction with similar pole parts of adjacent ones of the at least n+1 magnets (4) facing each other, and the at least n+1 magnets (4) are separated in the stack over a magnet separation distance (dm), the magnet separation distance (dm) being substantially equal to a width (ws) of a voice coil of the n voice coils (3) in the axial direction, and
    wherein the at least n+1 magnets (4) are fixed at the magnet separation distance (dm) by a spacer (7), the spacer (7) being of a non-magnetic material.
     
    2. Loudspeaker unit according to claim 1, wherein the n voice coils (3) are mechanically fixed to the membrane (2).
     
    3. Loudspeaker unit according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the n voice coils (3) are attached to a cylinder shaped support element (6).
     
    4. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-3, wherein the plurality of drive units (5) are positioned in a parallel configuration.
     
    5. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-4, wherein the n+1 magnets (4) are neodymium magnets.
     
    6. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-5, wherein the n+1 magnets (4) are cylinder shaped magnets.
     
    7. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-6, wherein the n+1 magnets (4) are fixed at the magnet separation distance (dm) by a spacer (7).
     
    8. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-7, wherein the n+1 magnets (4) are fixedly attached to a loudspeaker base frame (8).
     
    9. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-8, wherein each of the plurality of drive units (5) comprises n voice coils (3) and n+1 magnets (4), n being an integer larger than 2, wherein the n voice coils (3) are positioned in the axial direction over a coil separation distance (ds), the coil separation distance (ds) being substantially equal to a width (wm) of a magnet of the n+1 magnets (3) in the axial direction.
     
    10. Loudspeaker unit according to claim 9, wherein adjacent ones of the n voice coils (3) have an opposite winding direction.
     
    11. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-10, wherein the n voice coils (3) of each of the plurality of drive units (5) are electrically connected to each other in a parallel circuit connection.
     
    12. Loudspeaker unit according to any one of claims 1-10, wherein the n coils (3) of each of the plurality of drive units (5) are electrically connected to each other in a combined parallel and series circuit connection.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Lautsprechereinheit mit einer Membran (2) und einer Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5), die die Membran (2) antreiben,
    wobei jede der Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5) n Schwingspulen (3) und einen Stapel von mindestens n+1 Magneten (4) aufweist, wobei n eine ganze Zahl ist, die größer als oder gleich 1 ist,
    wobei die mindestens n+1 Magnete (4) Magnete mit einer axialen Magnetisierung sind, die in einer axialen Richtung gestapelt sind, wobei gleiche Polteile von benachbarten der mindestens n+1 Magnete (4) einander zugewandt sind, und die mindestens n+1 Magnete (4) in dem Stapel über einen Magnettrennabstand (dm) getrennt sind, wobei der Magnettrennabstand (dm) im Wesentlichen gleich einer Breite (ws) einer Schwingspule der n Schwingspulen(3) in der axialen Richtung ist, und
    wobei die mindestens n+1 Magnete (4) durch einen Abstandhalter (7) in dem Magnettrennabstand (dm) fixiert sind, wobei der Abstandhalter (7) aus einem nichtmagnetischen Material ist.
     
    2. Lautsprechereinheit nach Anspruch 1, wobei die n Schwingspulen (3) an der Membran (2) mechanisch fixiert sind.
     
    3. Lautsprechereinheit nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die n Schwingspulen (3) an einem zylinderförmigen Halteelement (6) angebracht sind.
     
    4. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-3, wobei die Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5) in einer parallelen Konfiguration positioniert ist.
     
    5. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4, wobei die n+1 Magnete (4) Neodym-Magnete sind.
     
    6. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-5, wobei die n+1 Magnete (4) zylinderförmige Magnete sind.
     
    7. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6, wobei die n+1 Magnete (4) durch einen Abstandhalter (7) in dem Magnettrennabstand (dm) fixiert sind.
     
    8. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-7, wobei die n+1 Magnete (4) an einem Lautsprechergrundrahmen (8) fest angebracht sind.
     
    9. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-8, wobei jede der Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5) n Schwingspulen und n+1 Magnete (4) aufweist, wobei n eine ganze Zahl ist, die größer als 2 ist, und die n Schwingspulen (3) in der axialen Richtung über einen Spulentrennabstand (ds) positioniert sind, wobei der Spulentrennabstand (ds) im Wesentlichen gleich einer Breite (wm) eines Magneten der n+1 Magnete (3) in der axialen Richtung ist.
     
    10. Lautsprechereinheit nach Anspruch 9, wobei benachbarte der n Schwingspulen (3) eine entgegengesetzte Wicklungsrichtung aufweisen.
     
    11. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-10, wobei die n Schwingspulen (3) jeder der Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5) in einer parallelen Schaltungsverbindung miteinander elektrisch verbunden sind.
     
    12. Lautsprechereinheit nach einem der Ansprüche 1-10, wobei die n Spulen (3) von jeder der Vielzahl von Treibereinheiten (5) in einer kombinierten parallelen und seriellen Schaltungsverbindung miteinander elektrisch verbunden sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Unité de haut-parleur ayant une membrane (2) et une pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) entraînant la membrane (2),
    dans laquelle chacune de la pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) comprend n bobines acoustiques (3) et un empilement d'au moins n+1 aimants (4), n étant un nombre entier supérieur ou égal à 1,
    dans lequel les au moins n+1 aimants (4) sont des aimants à magnétisation axiale qui sont empilés dans une direction axiale avec des parties de pôle similaires des au moins n+1 aimants adjacents (4) se faisant face, et les au moins n+1 aimants (4) sont séparés dans l'empilement sur une distance de séparation d'aimant (dm), la distance de séparation d'aimant (dm) étant sensiblement égale à une largeur (ws) d'une bobine acoustique des n bobines acoustiques (3) dans la direction axiale, et
    dans laquelle les au moins n+1 aimants (4) sont fixés à la distance de séparation d'aimant (dm) par une entretoise (7), l'entretoise (7) étant en un matériau non magnétique.
     
    2. Unité de haut-parleur selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les n bobines acoustiques (3) sont fixées mécaniquement à la membrane (2).
     
    3. Unité de haut-parleur selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans laquelle les n bobines acoustiques (3) sont fixées à un élément de support en forme de cylindre (6).
     
    4. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans laquelle la pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) sont positionnées dans une configuration parallèle.
     
    5. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans laquelle les n+1 aimants (4) sont des aimants en néodyme.
     
    6. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle les n+1 aimants (4) sont des aimants en forme de cylindre.
     
    7. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans laquelle les n+1 aimants (4) sont fixés à la distance de séparation d'aimant (dm) par une entretoise (7).
     
    8. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans laquelle les n+1 aimants (4) sont fixés de manière fixe à un cadre de base de haut-parleur (8).
     
    9. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, dans laquelle chacune de la pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) comprend n bobines acoustiques (3) et n+1 aimants (4), n étant un entier supérieur à 2, dans lequel les n bobines acoustiques (3) sont positionnées dans la direction axiale sur une distance de séparation de bobine (ds), la distance de séparation de bobine (ds) étant sensiblement égale à une largeur (wm)i d'un aimant des n+1 aimants (3) dans la direction axiale.
     
    10. Unité de haut-parleur selon la revendication 9, dans laquelle celles adjacentes des n bobines acoustiques (3) ont une direction d'enroulement opposée.
     
    11. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10, dans laquelle les n bobines acoustiques (3) de chacune de la pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) sont connectées électriquement les unes aux autres dans une connexion de circuit parallèle.
     
    12. Unité de haut-parleur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 10, dans laquelle les n bobines (3) de chacune de la pluralité d'unités d'entraînement (5) sont connectées électriquement les unes aux autres dans une connexion de circuits parallèle et série combinée.
     




    Drawing














    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description