Oct 30, 201859 views

Premium audio systems designed for cars.

Hey Massdrop community,
With over half of radio listening taking place in the car, we believe it's very important to have a vehicle audio system that's well tuned, doesn't distort, and is connected to the latest and greatest music and voice assistants. For example, we teamed up with Lincoln to build a THX Certified premium audio system in their 2019 models. More info on that system here... https://medium.com/@thxltd/lincoln-and-thx-team-up-on-ultimate-in-vehicle-audio-system-be7e26281c55
What are your thoughts on premium factory audio systems in vehicles vs aftermarket?
What are the must have features for your personal car audio system?


Davidious, The-Great-and-Powerful-Oz, and 3 others

I wound up installing a Pioneer system in my fifteen year old Lexus, mostly to get Android Auto integration (which was a bit of a letdown to be honest). It was a huge pain in the ass, as the Marc Levinson system that was already there doesn't play well with aftermarket. After manually wiring each speaker to the headunit (then replacing that wiring with higher gauge and quality) and installing a new subwoofer amp I wound up with a pretty good sounding system. It's not in competition with a brand new THX designed and factory built system, but was it worth the effort I put into it? Probably not.
FM is not hifi
Car audio, to me, has always been plagued by challenges. Firstly, there is the issue of isolation. Then there is the difficulty in ensuring accurate distance and directional perception for every passenger within the vehicle.
Thanks @phoenixsong. Lots of unique challenges in auto. We've solved the imaging issue for a single passenger using a DSP but much more difficult to make everyone happy. Also, using our Distributed Bass tech, we've had great success distributing bass evenly (much easier than the highs). We're also excited about the opportunities with autonomous vehicles - the entertainment systems are trending more toward delivering a living room experience than that of a traditional car. As for isolation, luxury vehicles provide a night and day difference over the non-luxury segment.
THX Ltd.
True, had the opportunity to sit in a Bentley before, the isolation made an impression on me. For more affordable brands, I think Lexus does a pretty good job for isolation! I think you're right about the distribution of the bass as well- I find it hard to even imagine hearing evenly-distributed treble with realistic imaging in a vehicle. Is it due to the wavelength properties?