LG G8 ThinQ Crystal Sound uses OLED screen as speaker, amplifier

JC Torres - Feb 13, 2019, 8:26pm CST
LG G8 ThinQ Crystal Sound uses OLED screen as speaker, amplifier

It’s just a week before MWC 2019 starts but although a bit later than usual, LG has dropped yet another not so subtle feature teaser for the G8 ThinQ. Last week, it revealed that the smartphone will have the industry’s first 3D time-of-flight front-facing camera. Given the space that component might have taken up, LG may have been forced to skip the earpiece speaker. Instead, it will be using Crystal Sound OLED or CSO which, in a nutshell, turns the screen into a speaker and an amplifier.

We’ve heard, no pun intended, of under the screen speakers before. The Xiaomi Mi Mix and the Vivo NEX S used piezoelectric speakers to replace the earpiece speaker in their crusade to banish bezels, especially the top one. Curiously, LG’s Crystal Sound OLED doesn’t have the same design requirements, given the LG G8 ThinQ’s expected notch.

That CSO tech is, instead, all about really improving the audio experience, something LG’s phones are popular for. Yes, it does function as the ear speaker when making calls but it also serves double duty when on speakerphone mode. Not only does its vibrating surface act as a diaphragm to amplify sound, its top half also acts as a second loudspeaker, forming a 2-channel audio setup despite having only one bottom speaker.

It’s admittedly interesting that LG would use a feature often associated with no bezels or even no speakers but still retain those parts that some consider to be essential to the smartphone experience. Rather than adding to take away others, the LG G8 ThinQ’s CSO will, instead, join other features that have given LG’s G series its well-earned audio fame, including the new Boombox Speaker, Hi-Fi Quad DAC, DTS-X 3D Surround Sound, MQA support, and, now Meridian audio fine-tuning.

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