By Evan Ackerman
While bass is undoubtedly one of the most visceral components of music, it also takes the most effort to produce. Good bass requires moving big volumes of air, which is why little speakers in portable devices can’t cut the mustard when it comes to low frequencies: there’s just not enough room for the air to move. Panasonic has developed an ultra-porous carbon-based material (out of bamboo, maybe?) full of little nanoholes that can physically absorb air molecules. By building speaker cabinets out of this material, Panasonic says they can effectively double the volume of air that is available to speakers at low frequencies. Larger speaker systems will benefit proportionally, but this technology could still mean improvements in the low end fidelity of portable electronics and headphones.