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Feature Design

Sense of Quartz

Shaping the future of
home theater

Although home theater design has always played a supporting role to TV design,
people’s attitudes are changing dramatically.
And that’s where the new shapes of these systems
will inspire pride of ownership.

Design Concept

〈Home Theater Systems〉
Outside the box

Home theater speakers often call to mind boxy enclosures. Unfortunately, the parallel surfaces of boxes do not necessarily form acoustically ideal shapes. That’s why we have been exploring other options to redefine the shape of home theater systems. Inspirational here is the Sense of Quartz design concept, also used for BRAVIA TVs. By incorporating the bold, dynamic shapes of quartz and the faceted surfaces of crystalline minerals, we broke free from boxy systems and created new shapes.

Three Key Values of Home Theater -Three central design elements in
the home theater Sense of Quartz concept-
Distinctive Form
Unique presence born from dynamic geometry
Quartz Facet
Clarity of sound manifested through a precious jewel-cut surface
Intelligent Luminance
User interaction visualized and enhanced in accents of illumination
Satisfying changing
consumer attitudes

Until a few years ago, these speakers were viewed as secondary in importance to interior design, so most of them blended discreetly into the background. Over time, though, attitudes shifted toward pride of ownership in the speakers themselves, and people began to value systems that also looked like they sounded good. In design, the need for products you can be proud of is something we take seriously. These conditions set the scene for use to pursue Quartz ideals, which in home theater systems we express structurally.

Takuma, chief art director

Industrial Design

〈Home Theater Systems〉
Speakers embodying
beautiful music

As a straightforward expression of the quality and impact of music, BDV-N series Blu-ray home theater systems adopt an open, exposed structure in the speakers. But with nothing to protect it, the cone itself had to be constructed of durable material. We tested a variety of materials, and in the end, fiberglass offered the best sound quality. Every detail—cone shape, edge shape, surface finish, and color—was carefully decided through acoustic simulations.

We hoped the innovative lighting at floor level would make the experience as exciting as being in a theater with footlights. Although space for LEDs was limited because audio performance depends on making the most of the speakers’ limited size, the lighting was a success.

Surprising practicality
of a multifaceted approach

We have also broken away from boxy design in Blu-ray players. This player is tilted forward at a rakish angle, making it look distinctive but not massive, even when viewed from the front. Most impressive is the multifaceted control panel, with each panel serving a different function and occupying the perfect angle for that function. The nearly horizontal panel is for key operations. The wide panel in the middle incorporates lighting and an NFC module, so compatible devices can be touched against it. The most acute panel is used for display, with this position carefully chosen for readability.

Note: BDV-N9100W/N9100WL are available exclusively in markets outside Japan. As of May 2013, no domestic release is planned.

Sculptors of
unprecedented forms

The tricky part of home theater design is arranging both the best listening experience and the ultimate in design. Speakers must be substantial enough to ensure good sound, but careless design makes them look crude. That’s why all peripheral surfaces of these speakers are boldly faceted, which makes them look sleek. The approach we took also reduced the parallel surfaces, and we could sculpt a more dynamic form than ever, so to speak. Our success did depend on a lot of acoustic design and simulations, behind these apparently random facets.

Zheng, producer and designer

Sense of Quartz shows a new commitment to making our quest for striking picture quality and
audio with realistic presence clear through design. As long as BRAVIA and home theater experiences continue to evolve,
Sony design will evolve with them.