Sound system engineering and design company Harman has been showcasing a range of sound solutions at the IAA Mobility (Munich) Show 2021, as many of the brand’s audio designs are set to feature in automotive OEMs interiors, including those of Audi, BMW, Mini and Ford. Systems and technology from the company’s brands Harman Kardon, Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen will all be utilized by the audio company to produce what it says are premium in-car sound experiences.
For example, as an optional extra, Audi’s e-tron GT can be equipped with a Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D Sound System, built using what Harman says are in-depth psycho-acoustic knowledge theories. The system also incorporated Symphoria 3D, a three-dimensional sound package that resulted from a development partnership between Audi, the Fraunhofer Institute and Bang & Olufsen.
For BMW’s latest E-SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle), the BMW iX, owners can opt to have either a Harman Kardon surround sound system fitted or the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound audio system over the standard option. The Harman Kardon option includes 18 speakers and has an amplifier capable of outputting 655W.
The Bowers & Wilkins alternative, however, is stated to deliver sound as the artist intended, with a 30-speaker setup and 1,615W of amplifier power. A range of tweeters and mid-range speakers using aramid fiber are fitted high up in the cabin to enhance audio quality. Despite the large number of speakers, they are well disguised within the car, with brushed stainless-steel covers over the tweeter, while the door speakers are hidden behind acoustically optimized fabric to keep the interior design clutter free and as minimalist as possible.
Harman also worked alongside Ford to produce a 10-speaker, Bang & Olufsen system for the American manufacturer’s Mustang Mach-E. Powered by a six-channel 560W A2B amplifier with DSP which Harman says provides a rich and warm sound.