7 Car Audio Systems You Can Use At Home

For manufacturers of audio equipment, a car is a unique object: only here they know in advance where their speakers will stand, where the listeners will sit, and also what walls, floor, ceiling, and even chairs are made of.

7 Car Audio Systems You Can Use At Home

We chose seven examples of creating the perfect acoustic space on wheels and each of them was selected according to a home analog so that you do not have to go into the car every time to listen to your favorite track.

7 Car Audio Systems You Can Use At Home

1. Bentley New Continental GT

NAIM FOR BENTLEY
18 speakers and two subwoofers in a system with a total power of 2200 watts

Fully adopting the snobbish tradition of British supercar manufacturers to indicate engine power as “sufficient,” Naim’s Salisbury company does not bother listing the technological solutions and functionality that you get for an extra 5000 pounds in the new Bentley coupe.

She says, “all that is needed is what she does.” The most amazing thing is that it does.

The sound in the new Bentley is really outstanding, and even before you start clicking on the buttons of its many settings.

Two powerful factors work here: almost half a century of experience in building analog amplifiers (and here are just such truly audiophile ones) and the application of solutions that have been worked out for a long time in home audio equipment of the highest class: for example, original BMR emitters that provide 180-degree dispersion sound.

What is Naim?

One of the oldest and most reputable manufacturers of audio equipment in the British Isles. Amplifiers developed by Naim back in the 70s became the technical standard for dozens, if not hundreds of imitators and followers. 

Moreover, the company is so committed to its own concept and technological solutions that it still insists on the use of five-pin DIN connectors (these were also used in Soviet audio until the end of the 80s). We must pay tribute to the Naim engineers, they skillfully combine fidelity with tradition using the most relevant technologies. 

The latest products of the company (including the audio system for Bentley) provide the most fashionable functionality – up to a one-click wireless connection to the phone.

How to make the same sound at home? 

This is the rare case when you can afford a High-End device without any discounts for absolutely reasonable money.

The Naim Mu-So wireless desktop audio system will cost 100,000 rubles and at the same time provide not only a real adult sound even from a Bluetooth mobile phone, but also an aesthetic pleasure – the volume knob lights up as soon as you bring your hand to it, and the quality of the industrial design can Apple Jonathan Ive himself also envy.

Land Rover Range Rover

MERIDIAN

2. Land Rover Range Rover

SIGNATURE SOUNDSYSTEM

29 speakers and a 1700-watt amplifier

The main highlight of this system is the unique digital sound processing modules that Meridian is, in fact, famous for. 

It is strange that they did not use them in cars before the contract with Jaguar / Land Rover, because this is where the full potential of the company’s technologies is revealed.

Manipulating the phase response of 29 speakers, they allow you to achieve absolutely fantastic effects. For example, the system automatically adjusts its sound to the atmosphere in the cabin.

 If you folded the rear seats or, conversely, clogged the entire trunk and the back row with seedlings, the digital brain will track the changes and adjust the sound so that in all cases it remains perfect. 

Against the backdrop of such tricks, things such as creating a three-dimensional sound stage above the hood in front of the driver or imitating the sound of the central channel using acoustic radiation built into the side doors are nothing.

What is Meridian?

This is one of the most respected and high-tech manufacturers of audio equipment in the world. Imagine, the encoding algorithm for the audio track on DVDs was developed precisely by the Meridian team, and today the company’s founder and its unchallenged leader, engineer Bob Stewart, is promoting the supernova MQA audio file encoding format, which allows you to collapse the highest-resolution soundtrack (24 bit / 192 kbps) in a volume slightly exceeding standard MP3.

 It is possible that in a couple of years you will listen to music exclusively in this format – the scope of Meridian innovations is truly global.

How to make the same sound at home? 

In the case of the British brand system Meridian have to fork out pretty. The concept of equipment manufactured by the company is very original and uncompromising. Firstly, this is fully digital equipment, secondly, it was created to exist in its own ecosystem, and thirdly, Meridian does not offer “inexpensive” options.

The minimum set of two active digital speakers meridian m6 and a control module source Audio Core 200 will cost about a couple of million rubles.

Audi A7

3. Audi A7

15 speakers with independent amplification ICEpower with a total power of 1440 watts

Here is a whole set of completely unique solutions that determine the nature of the sound of the system and make it truly unique. 

Firstly, the design of the front tweeters in the form of an “acoustic lens”. When you turn on the radio in Audi, these same lenses effectively move up on the dashboard – their point is that the high-frequency emitter does not work in a strictly directional direction but creates a diffuse sound field that provides, on the one hand, a much more spectacular spatial picture, and on the other – a much softer and more pleasant sound character.

The second trump card is the active amplification of each (!) Speaker in the system, that is, all 15 drivers are equipped with their own amplifiers, and even what! These are ICEpower’s proprietary digital modules – Bang & Olufsen was the first company in the world to develop a full-fledged amplifier using this technology and use it in an audio system. 

In principle, this set is already more than enough, however, in this machine, Bang & Olufsen worked to the smallest detail in the most literal sense: even the grilles that cover the speakers are specially designed taking into account their influence on the sound. They are produced separately at the Bang & Olufsen factory in Denmark and are sent from there to assembly lines in Germany.

What is Bang & Olufsen?

Bang & Olufsen is one of the oldest audio producers in the world, literally 100 years old for lunch. The company was founded in 1925 and by the forties of the last century had made a name for itself in the radio market. 

Today it is perhaps the most famous manufacturer of luxury audio equipment on the planet. Bang & Olufsen equipment is in the most fashionable hotels in Scandinavia, and in the Arab sheiks, and in the London apartment of singer Brian Ferry.

 We must pay tribute to the company: its success is the merit of not only excellent marketing but also a phenomenal technological base. 

The same ICEpower amplifier modules that are in Audi are used today by thousands of other manufacturers of various equipment and, despite their almost 20 years of age, remain the real industry standard for amplifiers in class D.

How to make the same sound at home? 

Thank God, the days when only bankers and pop stars could afford Bang & Olufsen have almost passed. 

Today, the company makes a series of products available and mere mortals. And at the same time, in terms of sound quality and design – it’s all the same Bang & Olufsen without any discounts.

 The ideal embodiment of branded B&O sound for an adequate 150,000 rubles will be the Beoplay A9 system with a wireless connection, touch control, and real Scandinavian design.

Lexus RC / RC F

4. Lexus RC / RC FN

17 speakers in 12 seats, 835 watts of total power and ten separate DSP channels

 

This system is primarily striking in its technical performance. Unlike home and studio devices, car audio cannot boast of excellent performance due to objective problems with working in a moving volume, subject to various vibrations and unprotected from electromagnetic interference.

So, engineers, Mark Levinson managed to reduce the nonlinear distortion of their system in Lexus to a phenomenal 0.1%.

Ambient sound, adjustment to the situation, digital correction – all this is here, but not only that, thanks to the participation of the transcontinental concern Harman, there is a proprietary Clari-Fi technology designed to improve the playback of compressed audio formats (that is, all music from iTunes, GooglePlay and streaming services ) Not that she could return the bits lost during compression to the file, but it actually makes MP3 and AAC sound much more lively and full-blooded.

What is Mark Levinson?

Engineer Mark Levinson is not only a gifted techie and a good musician, but he is also the great-granddaughter of the German physicist Heinrich Hertz – the one who learned to measure the frequency of sound vibrations and introduced its designation – “hertz”. Having founded his company for the production of audio equipment in the early 70s, Mark Levinson actually became a pioneer of the latest High-End category, that is, not just high-quality sound reproduction, but sound quality at the technically most accessible level.

Mark Levinson has long been a household name in the circles of audiophiles and almost synonymous with the phrase “perfect sound.” It is interesting that the first in the history of the proposal to put a “real” sound in the car came to Levinson back in the late 80s, but then he categorically rejected this idea, because he could not control the process of creating such an audio system from start to finish. 

According to Lexus representatives, their cooperation was made possible thanks to the fact that the integration of the audio system is now taking place at the stage of project development of the car.

How to make the same sound at home? 

Mark Levinson at one time set an unprecedented high bar not only for sound quality but also for its price. And today the situation has not changed too much – the equipment of this brand is still worth sky-high money.

To feel the full power of Levinson’s sound, you will have to pay out about a million rubles for the not the most expensive Mark Levinson No.585 amplifier, well, and do not forget that you will have to pay about the same amount twice for suitable speakers, for example, JBL K2 $ 9900.

Cadillac CT6

5. Cadillac CT6

Active sound control system using 34 independent dynamic emitters

 

The audio system in the new Cadillac is perhaps the most visual and maximum embodiment of the idea of ​​digital sound control in a car. 

Bose not only uses digital algorithms to fine-tune the sound of its system, it basically does not work without them. Many of the 32 emitters are turned on and tuned so that they are not audible at all – in the literal sense: they only correct the sound of other speakers with their radiation or emit such a limited spectrum that only the totality of the work of a dozen diffusers creates sound audible to the human ear.

All these technological and software tricks allow you to apply such risky decisions as, for example, installing two drivers at once directly in the head restraints of the front seats. 

On their own, they could do nothing but stun the driver, however, in the Bose Panaray, the radiation from the headrest only supplements the volume of the sound field in the cabin. It is curious that the driver and front passenger are still literally sitting on the subwoofers – they are under the pillows of the front seats – but if you don’t know that they are there, you won’t feel any vibrations.

What is Bose?

In the field of digital processing and sound management, Bose has reached heights, some of which no one in the world has been able to conquer. Back in the late 70s, they made a lot of noise in the world of Hi-Fi, when they clearly demonstrated that you can get a “big” sound using a set of miniature speakers and without the use of bulky emitters and cases. 

Today, Bose is a recognized leader in the audio world in the LifeStyle category, no one except them knows how to make the smallest portable equipment sound so serious. And Bose home cinemas with speakers the size of a pack of cigarettes have long become classics of the genre.

How to make the same sound at home? 

In the case of Bose, ruin does not threaten you. Yes, against the backdrop of “pop” competitors, their equipment is not cheap, but she is far from the crazy prices of this High End.

The portable wireless speaker Bose SoundLink Revolve will cost you only 15,000 rubles but will be able to show how much more interesting music from your phone can sound.

However, if at home you want to create a system similar in sound to Panaray in Cadillac, you will have to count on at least 200,000 rubles.

Peugeot 5008

Peugeot 5008

Ten speakers and a 12-way 515-watt amplifier path

 

This is the only system in our review that was created from the very beginning for use in automobiles. The fact is that almost half of the total turnover of the French company Focal falls on the production of car speakers and amplifiers, which among hardcore car audio fans have undeniable cult status.

The reason is simple: they are really different from everyone, and since Focal is primarily a manufacturer of acoustics, then we are talking, of course, about dynamic emitters.

 Peugeot has speakers with diffusers made of polyglots – the patented Focal material, which provides cones both lightness and strength.

High frequencies are emitted by the inverted dome – it is as if turned inside out, which gives an ideal dispersion of sound radiation for the machine. By the way, in Focal columns, such tweeters have been used for 35 years.

What is Focal?

No matter how surprising it may sound, but in France, they also make audio equipment, and outstanding. The Focal-JMlab company was born in 1979, and today it is one of the largest manufacturers of acoustics in Europe, it makes speakers and headphones, and professional studio monitors, which, by the way, also have quite a cult status and, as you already understood, car sound.

Despite such a wide range of interests, the engineering department of the company managed to preserve the most important thing that distinguishes the manufacturer of this Hi-Fi: the signature nature of the sound.

 The very precise, detailed and at the same time melodic character of the Focal speakers is recognized from the first note. And in Peugeot, by the way, it is also perfectly audible.

How to make the same sound at home? 

The decision will be unexpected, because not so long ago, Focal released unique headphones called Utopia.

 With a phenomenal price of 339,900 rubles, they are phenomenal in terms of engineering. These are the only one of its kind fully open dynamic headphones without any acoustic filters. The speaker diaphragm is made of beryllium, and the cups are carbon.

 But the most important thing: they sound exactly “like Focal”. However, after such a sound, the top system in the Peugeot 5008 may fade somewhat.

Mercedes-Maybach S-class

Mercedes-Maybach S-class

24 speakers and amplifier path with a total power of 1540 watts

 

The German audio boutique Burmester system is also built on digital sound correction modules (however, any car audio system is built in this way, the only question is what modules are, who designed them and how well they work), but in this case, a number of solutions are applied, exclusively characteristic of High-End class technology, with a curtsy towards the authentic analog sound.

For example, to create the effect of the surround sound, not only phase correction of the speaker radiation is used, but also their most literal installation in the ceiling of the car cabin. In the amplification path, there are not only pulse-width modulation modules (the so-called digital amplifiers) but also fully analog cascades in class AB, which ensures the sound of medium and high frequencies in the system is especially natural. 

However, DSP-modules also have something to do. Among other things, the audio system automatically adjusts its sound depending on the speed and nature of the noise entering the cabin, while preserving, in any case, the ideal frequency and timbre characteristics of the phonogram.

What is Burmester?

Burmester – the name of the owner, head of the chief developer of the equipment of the company Dieter Burmester. 

His story is very remarkable, because, having received the education of an engineer, he devoted half his time to music – he played bass in a rock band. And naturally, he made amplifiers for his guitar himself. For a long time, Dieter was engaged in the development of sophisticated equipment for medical and scientific institutions, until he decided to combine his two hobbies and opened his own production of audio equipment in 1978. 

By the way, the design of most devices has not changed much since then.

How to make the same sound at home? 

Burmester also does not favor lovers of money. Most recently, they released a new, “affordable” Phase 3 audio system from a network player/receiver, which can receive a signal from any sound source and output 170 watts of power per channel, complete with two speakers with esoteric tweeters on Hale emitters.

But you will have to pay 2,820,000 rubles for this modest set.