References - Patents
Yes it's a shoe
 The following table lists all of the patents found so far relating to the production of sound using massless means.  There are many more around related fields, this list is limited to those specifically related to sound reproduction/recording. There is a brief note attempting to summarise the type of speaker the patent describes, and also a class description which categorises the particular invention. If you wish to find the full detail of a particular patent it is recommended to look at the espacenet website and search for the patent number in the form US2793324 for example. As you can see, there have been a good many patented designs for over 120 years - proving that massless speakers are nothing new! Sort the table by clicking the column headings, some titles are shortened.
CountryPatent No.TitleAuthorDateClassNotes
US164458Improvement in pyrophonesFrederic Kastner1873-Hydrogen flame in tubes pipe organ
US201760Speaking MachineEdison1878-Compressed air, nearly massless for ref
US580035Art of and apparatus for generating musicCahill1897-Telharmonium
GB21629Singing arcDuddell1900AConvert DC to audible AC using arc
GB190215527Improvements in or relating to wireless...Blondel1903ASpeaker, mic and circuits based on Duddell
GB15599?Poulsen1903-Radio transmitter based on Duddell
GB190604585Improvements in and relating toHermanus1906AArc microphone, piston against electrode
GB190628125Improvements in wireless telephonyForest1907AUses Duddell and Simon's speaking arc
GB191407202Improved method of transStille1915AArc microphone (reverse of singing arc)
GB264811Improvements relating to elecGeneral Electric1927BPoint to plane corona discharge
GB265958Improvements relating to elecGeneral Electric1928CPoints on a disc corona wind.
US1680694Sound reproducing method and apparatusRamsey1928BHorn loaded plasma speaker mod RF
US1685075Intertransposition of sound Lindenblad, RCA1928CPoint to air/ground corona discharge. 189 patents!, Swedish
US1723244Method of and apparatus for reproducing soundLilienfeld1929CModulate air flow around disc
US1702951Sound-emitting apparatusRuben1929BHorn loaded plasma
GB303175Loudspeaker arrangementLoewe1930CGrid modulated ion source
US1758993Sound reproducerWolff1930CMany points corona discharge. Ref to above patent 1695075 wrong!
US1751888Sound-emitting deviceRuben1930CHeated cathode ion speaker
US1806745Sound Producing DeviceDe Forest1931BModulate gas flow with high voltage
US2768246Electrical TransducerKlein S.1956BIonovac, Also-GB756546, CH317527, DE1095883, FR1041790, US2768246
GB757358Improvements in or relating toKlein S.1956BIonovac, Also-US2847516, GB757111, FR1041790, BE519086, FR67664E
US2793324Ionic triode speakerHalus, Holcomb1957BCorona discharge around a hole
GB792312Improvements in and relating toKlein S.1958BMulti horn Ionovac
US2949550Electrokinetic apparatusTownsend Brown1960CCorona wind
US3105124Inertialess TransducerTorn1963BDukane ionovac
US3185778Apparatus for producing soundGianni, Ducati1965BHorn loaded plasma
FR1427695Appareil sonore electrohydroElectrokinetics1966CCorona wind wire with backplate shapes
US3018394Generation and transmission Townsend Brown1967CCorona wind
US3476887Ionic electroacoustic transducerSeligson, Lanier1969CMany points to blades corona wind (blades all vertical, points only one side)
GB1199859Method etc. generating an acoustic outputUnited Aircraft Corp1970BModulating flame with high voltage, US3565209
GB1274875A system for imparting movemTownsend Brown1972CCorona triode with vertical bars+wires.
DE2115544KoronaphonWalter1972BCircuit for a plasma loudspeaker (modulated supply?)
FR2246151noneDoucet, Henri1975CCorona wind
JP5167735Diaphragm on ionic speaker1976BPlasma speaker with diaphragm(!) to stop gas
JP53141612Grid controlled ionic wind loudKiyoshi1978BCorona triode, wires, single ended and push pull.
JP53142218Ionic Wind LoudspeakerKiyoshi1978BCorona triode, just single ended, points
JP53137128Ionic Wind LoudspeakerKiyoshi1978BCorona triode, points, single ended and push pull.
GB2023373Plasma LoudspeakerHill1979BPlasmatronic, glow discharges in parallel. US4219705, JP54143225, JP2918300, FR2422314, DE2913804
JP54119914Ion SpeakerHatake Kiyoshi1979BReplaceable plasma speaker tube
EP17885Corona-effect loudspeakerKlein S.1980BMagnat
EP17886Corona-loudspeakerKlein S.1980BMagnat
US4306120Sound emitterKlein S.1981BMagnat/Ionovac
EP65911Ionic electro-acoustic transducerBondar1982CPlasmasonic, Also-US4460809, JP58001395, FR2506551, EP0065911
US4460809Process and device for converting a periodic...Bondar1984CIonic pins and plates
US4464544Corona-effect sound emitterKlein S.1984BMagnat
FR2544951Corona effect loudspeakerKlein S.1984BMagnat
US4482788Transducer for the transformationKlein S.1984BAlso EP0017886, SU1175352, JP55140400, FR245444, ES8100754
FR2588710Ionic electroacoustic transducerDeraedt1987CPush-pull corona wind
WO8807785Electrokinetic transducing metLee1988CCorona wind, Offset wires to thicker bars.
US4789801Electrokinetic transducing metLee1988CCorona wind, Offset wires to thicker aerodynamic bars.
EP370846Electroacoustic TransducerFourriere1990CTolteque, Corona/Glow modulated by plates. JP2174398, FR2638930
FR2685156Tranducteur electroacoustique, et enceinte...Bayle Pierre, Gibert Alain1991CMany point to plane corona?
JP4027300Method and device for arc soundEizo1992AArc/flame nozzle, a TIG welder
US5220246Method and apparatus for tranIde, Hashimoto1993APossible glow discharge (arc column), single point to plane. Based on DC TIG welder.
JP6327099Speaker utilizing DC corona disMasaaki1994BPoint to plane corona discharge,+ push pull
GB2312590Corona Discharge LoudspeakerHoward1997CCorona wind wires with grids either side.
GB2403372Corona Discharge LoudspeakerChambers2004CCorona wind
WO127810Electroststic Loudspeaker and ...Krichtapovitch2007CKronos EPA application (not granted yet, company closed), corona wind
JP2010141858Sound generatorSony Corp2008BSony's attempt at a plasma tweeter design
CN101778327Electricity and sound conversion...Yao Zongdong2010BPlasma speaker controlled by magnetic field, or not the translation is vague
CN202218397Plasma loudspeakerZhao Ge, Gao Yifeng, Cao Dong 2011BPlasma speaker, classic style with two electrodes, a reflector behind
DE102010026112Plasma tweeter e.g. teslums tweeter, for e.g. acoustic labBraun Alexander2012BPlasma speaker on tesla coil
RU2496254Electric-arc loudspeakerBoris G. Viger2012BPlasma tweeter EAL/VA7 of Viger Audio/Plasma Voice
CN101820573Control device for plasma loudspeaker and plasma loudspeaker Lu Yulong2013BPlasma speaker amp
JP5281428MicrophoneYu Akino2013BPlasma based microphone
JP5474614Electroacoustic transducerYu Akino2014BPlasma speaker
JP5777540Electroacoustic transducerYu Akino2015BPlasma speaker and microphone
CN205902064Electron tube ionic loudspeakerZhang Zaifei2017BBasic plasma speaker valve amplifier
JP6099143Electroacoustic transducerYu Akino2017BPlasma speaker
CN107948895Microwave plasma loudspeakerFu Wenjie2018BMicrowave generated plasma
CN110430515Improved plasma loudspeakerHu Zhenqiang2019BCircular arrangement of plasmas
WO2019135196Electronic effects device and method Ilja KRUMINS, Martins MELKIS, Kristaps KALVA2019BPlasma in a gas discharge tube
EP3513576Plasma speakerGilligan2020BMultiple small plasma tweeters to create a full-range plasma
US201862627839System and Method for Acoustic to Electronic TransductionJohan Carlsson2020BPlasma microphone for structural listening
Classes of transducer :
A Arc discharge
B Glow discharge / Plasma
C Corona wind (ion cloud)


Some of my thoughts about Patenting.


 
 
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