The future of in-car audio is almost here and I can't wait!
Let's be honest, how many of you know of HARMAN? How about Harman Kardon? Under that title you're extremely likely to see their products in a huge number of cars, not always as an 'upgrade' either. They're one of the premium in-car audio brands, offering a crystal clear listening experience whilst on the go - they take from their home products, transferring that experience and giving it to the driving seat.
Being such a major player in the audio field, really its no wonder they're advancing the entire industry in leaps and bounds. Really the future of in-car audio is almost here and I truly can't wait to start experiencing it.
Photo credit: HARMAN Newsroom
Personi-Fi is totally game changing!
Everyone hears slightly differently to someone else, not to mention the fact that some prefer different music to others. The standard EQ setup in cars with presets for 'rock', 'pop' etc is totally old news - purely because HARMAN can now completely tailor a personally unique listening experience. This means, we're finally potentially looking at perfect in-car audio.
Firstly you undergo a listening test (via a simple application), in this HARMAN find out exactly what works for you - learning which frequencies are stronger than others etc. This test is also tailored towards the certain types of music you'd like to listen to, ensuring you always get a superb experience.
Once they know your specific hearing needs, they create a profile for you on their 'Ignite' cloud platform which can follow you everywhere. From headphones to your car, you're only a click away from your personalised listening experience. Personify launched at CES 2019 via their headphones, however they expect it to shortly roll out to OEM head units in the near future - and HARMAN enabled cars even sooner.
Photo credit: HARMAN Newsroom
3D audio is here and ready to surround you
How many times have you seen 'surround sound' as an option on an OEM head unit? I've seen it more times than I can count, however as fancy as the systems can be - you're unlikely to find one with true 3D audio... until now.
To get a true '3D' sound, you must have software and audio which is exactly that... 3D. Sending specific signals to specific speakers but not just spreading an MP3 throughout the cabin. HARMAN now have that exact system, currently available with Lincoln and Lamborghini. They're even hinted on making navigation prompts 3D, with notifications coming from exact locations and feeling further away depending on how far you are from a turn etc.
They're making electric cars safer too!
Hands up, how many of you have honestly not heard an electric car coming and have almost walked out in front of one? Most of us are guilty, and having driven multiple electric vehicles I also see it from a driving point of view too. Recently I almost decimated a pack of cyclists in a Tesla Model 3 because they didn't visually check to see if a car was coming... just listening.
HARMAN, via their HALOsonic programme, are creating internal and external sound generation (and cancellation) devices for internal combustion and electric car manufacturers. Currently there aren't any legislations or rules on how the electric vehicles can sound, so manufacturers are working with HARMAN to create specific tones for their cars. Much like we did generations ago with exhaust noise, we are now... but with technology. This means each manufacturer can (in theory) have their own totally unique and encapsulating sound.
"What else does the future hold then?!"
As some manufacturers move away from BHP, speed and 0-60 times in focus of luxury, experiences per mile is the next aim. Things like sound cancelation for phone calls (clear chat, without the kids in the back interrupting) and having the capability to move the call to another seat. There's also plans for microphones in the cabin for ease of communication in-car - no need to shout to the third row any more.
Connected amplifiers are also arriving soon, with regular over-the-air updates to enhance the listening experience - your intelligent car will always continue to sound better, day by day. This means creating better (and potentially custom) listening experiences with just a data connection. Also unlocking 3D (on appropriate systems) for conference calls and nav instructions, more immersive but not distracting.