audio systems Motoring

Sound as a bell

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems  

The aural experience inside the cabin of a top-end luxury car is just as important as every other piece of equipment. The best-quality, audiophile-grade sound systems have become more of a prerequisite in flagship luxury cars these days, and automakers are sparing no effort in bringing unmatched audio performance to the car cabin. During the last few years, the big names in the audio industry, like Burmester, Meridian, and Bang & Olufsen, have been focusing on making bespoke music systems. Here are five luxury cars with sophisticated audio systems that will please the most discerning audiophiles.

Mercedes-Maybach S650

If the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the benchmark of full-size luxury saloons, against which competing models by all other manufacturers are measured, the Maybach variant takes things to the next level, locking horns with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Measuring almost five-and-a-half metres, the Maybach is nothing short of a land-yacht. However, it is not just the size that qualifies a direct comparison with a luxury yacht, but also the amenities.

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems  

Amongst that long list of top-shelf features is a Burmester incredible 3D sound system, which uses a whopping 27 high-performance loudspeakers and 24 discrete amplifier channels inside the cabin. The total output of Maybach’s sound system is 1,590 watts, which makes it more powerful than most high-quality home theatre systems. Augmenting the sound quality of the system is the visual element.

While all the speakers feature brushed aluminium finish, the tweeters on the mirror triangle of the driver doors rotate 360 degrees.

Volvo XC90

The full-size SUV, Volvo XC90, features an audio system that was developed specifically by Bowers & Wilkins in partnership with audio technology company Dirac Research. The system uses 19 speakers to deliver a total of 1400 watts of output. While the Tweeter on Top design with the B&W logo emblazoned in aluminium adds to the visual appeal, the air-ventilated subwoofer is built into the subframe to offer the best possible bass integration and clarity.

Lexus LS 500

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Lexus is on a mission to re-create the magic of the original LS luxury sedan from the early 90s, with its new LS 500 flagship offering. Adding the Executive Package to the Lexus LS 500 luxury sedan brings the Mark Levinson Reference Audio System by Harman to the equipment list. Like Volvo’s B&W system for XC90, the audio system on the LS 500 was exclusively designed for the model. The audio system, uses 23 speakers and a 16-channel Mark Levinson Reference Amplifier for an equivalent output of 2,400 watts, which creates listening space for every person in every seat. The strategically-placed speakers, along with the Quantum Logic Immersion technology of the system, together produce a three-dimensional sound experience that acoustically envelops the listeners with its crystal-clear clarity. The speakers are hidden behind metal grills that meld with the cabin design seamlessly.

Range Rover

Land Rover’s uber-luxurious offering, the Range Rover, still remains the top choice for those looking for luxury, with the added advantage of Land Rover’s go-anywhere capability. Amongst Range Rover’s equipment on offer inside the cabin is the Meridian Signature Reference Audio System (also available on the Range Rover Velar as an optional extra). Comprising 29 speakers, including a subwoofer, it is driven by a powerful amplification system, which has an output of 1700 watts. Enhanced by Trifield 3D technology, the audio system promises to deliver a unique musical performance. What it does is use the roof line speakers to blend the centre and surround channels with the left and right channels for scale and definition, to create an immersive and consistent sound.

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems

Hear ye: The joy of listening to the lead on ‘Highway Star’ is something else on these systems  

BMW 7 Series

In 2015, when BMW launched the sixth-generation model of its 7 Series luxury sedan, the Bavarian automaker equipped it with a brand new Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System as the top audio system option. The B&W audio system features 16 speakers powered by a 10-channel, Class D amplifier, taking the total output to 1400 watts. The Diamond Surround Sound System in the 7 Series doesn’t use the company’s tweeter-on-top technology. Instead, it has a bespoke design with both front left and front right speaker configurations that boast Bowers & Wilkins’ trademark Diamond tweeters. The technology powering the diamond dome tweeters features in B&W’s high-end speaker ranges. The wafer-thin, layer of real diamonds promises unmatched sound clarity.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 5:36:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/here-are-five-luxury-cars-with-sophisticated-audio-systems-to-keep-the-most-discerning-audiophiles-happy/article26579587.ece

Next Story