Flat-panel Loudspeakers

Flat-panel loudspeakers involve both a panel and an inertia exciter. Their structural vibration and acoustic radiation are quite unique. These devices have flexural resonance and the panel tends to vibrate randomly. Simulation tools are essential for flat-panel loudspeakers because they help with the integration process. The finite element analysis, the fast Fourier, and the electro-mechanical analogy predict both the vibration and the acoustic radiation.

Flat-panel Loudspeakers and Traditional Ones

You can compare flat-panel loudspeakers to traditional ones in several ways. To begin with, flat-panel loudspeakers have a problem with sensitivity and efficiency. For this reason, engineers implement a woofer that uses electronic compensation to solve the conflict. It’s essential for the user to know that the use of a combined panel-woofer system provides a significant improvement over the flat panel speaker.

Types of Flat-panel Speakers

There are many types of flat-panel speakers, including the planar magnetic, ribbon and electrostatic. The standard flat-panel speaker involves an exciter attached to a square panel. In this model, the flat-panel operates as a diaphragm. The materials for diaphragms are varied and they include vinyl and styrofoam. This same diaphragm often has paper attached on both sides of the polystyrene to help with the sound production. In addition, a cushion usually attaches to its corners. The operation is simple: the exciter tends to push the center of the diaphragm, which generated a curve in the surface. As a result, sound waves emerge. 

The structure of the diaphragm might include polypropylene foam, PET foam, polypropylene, ABS, carbon fibre, and glass fibre. Also, the standard flat-panel speaker can’t always create an even vibration over the entire flat surface while creating a good frequency response.


Another type of flat-panel loudspeaker is the Distributed-Mode Loudspeaker, also known as DML. This loudspeaker can produce sounds by inducing distributed vibration modes in the panel through a special electro-acoustic exciter. Exciters for distributed-mode loudspeakers might include coil and piezoelectric devices.