Great sound with no speakers? It’s mad but it works. German component supplier Continental fitted a prototype of its Speakerless Audio set-up in a current Mercedes-Benz C-Class — and the sound quality was brilliant.

“Everything you have heard is an excited surface,” said Continental engineer Jens Friedrich after the impressive demonstration at the company’s Tech Show 2017 in Hanover.

What this means, in plain language, is that the audio uses tiny actuators to make parts of the car itself vibrate. Instead of conventional speaker cones, Speakerless Audio uses the windscreen pillar covers, dashboard, roof and front seat backs to produce richly detailed and totally immersive sound.

Friedrich says Speakerless Audio saves weight and space. Fewer actuators are needed compared to conventional speakers, too. Cost reductions are also possible.

And the technology also promises greater freedom for car interior designers, who would no longer have to make space for speakers in door trims and other places.