Air Speaker
A website devoted to massless loudspeakers  

plasma speaker chain



Theoretical Air Speaker Designs

Below is a table listing other designs of air loudspeaker that I am aware of that never made it beyond prototype, demonstrator or curiosity, and some that I know do not have good coverage on the internet Again, some details are sketchy and if anyone wants to put me right or add to this then please let me know. I'm not interested in listing every hobby plasma tweeter on the web here, just notable designs.

Listed in approximate date order.

Designer Company Design Name Other People Type Year Notes
Frederic Eugene Kastner Pyrophone Flame 1875-85 An octave of glass pipes with small gas flames at the ends to make an organ. Early synthesizer/organ. 1700's known effect "burning harmonica" or "chemical harmonica"
Thomas Edison Thermophone Theodore Wiesendanger Wire Heated wire, not an arc - just here for ref as it comes up. Also name of a 1920's microphone.
John Tyndall Singing Flame Faraday, Wheatstone Flame 1887 Sound modulating a flame (proved a point).
Dr. Simon Singing electric arc A 1898 From this history here
William Du Bois Duddell Singing Arc AY 1899 Based on carbon arc lamps, frequency varied with voltage, more of a synthesizer, look here.
Valdemar Poulsen Poulsen Arc Also spelt Poulson A 1903 A radio transmitter based on Duddells work.
Dr. D.M.Tombs (worked for Hoover!) Corona Wind Loudspeaker Gerald Shirley CZ 1955 Prototypes only, Gerald Shirley tried to market it.
Fransson F. KTH Computer Science STL Ionophone B 1965 A full report here, used for acoustic measurement
Albert Von Schweikert Cal Tech (uni) A plasma driver Dr. Richard Heyser B Late 70's Developed for a US company?
IML IML Digiplasma BX 1981 PWM Prototype
Gregor Antes Laborantes Ionophone Guido Melliger B 1980's? Plasma headphones, here.
Nelson Pass Threshold Audio Inc. Ion Cloud Panel CZ 1980's Prototype only, ozone nearly did him in.
Ostroumov, G A Ionophone C 1982 I have this, linked from here , and reffed here.
Alain Deraedt Push pull corona prototype Pascal Freulon C 1987 Patent FR2588710, Science&Vie High Tech Article
Jean-Claude Fourriere AHL (Acieries du Haut Languedoc) Tolteque Ran the Plasmasonic Company, Audio reference B 1992 Full-range plasma prototype. 2/3 made. Demoed at trade shows. Tolteques sold were ESL. 100dB @ 1m, 100W consumption
Credo Credo Audio AG SDP 001 B 1996 Article in Gramophone (Jan 1997), demoed, company now closed (1999)
Igor A. Krichtafovitch, Kronos Air Technologies EFA Loudspeaker CZ 2008 A classic corona wind design detailed, Company now closed. Patent application 2007.


Driver type Key:


A Arc discharge
B Glow discharge / Plasma
C Corona wind (ion cloud)


X Tweeter

Y Mid-range

Z Full range