EUROPEAN IMAGING AND SOUND ASSOCIATION
Australian Incar was this year invited to join EISA, the European Imaging and Sound Association, as part of its move to become a global organisation. We’re proud to have joined this unique collaboration of 50+ special interest magazines that cover all aspects of audio, video, home theatre, in-car, photographic and mobile technologies. Through its annual Awards, EISA has been celebrating the very best consumer electronics products for over 30 years, selecting those new products that combine the most advanced technology and desirable features with classleading performance. The EISA Awards extend from the most affordable, high value products to the most aspirational expressions of modern consumer electronics. Award categories change from year to year, reflecting the evolution of product design and connectivity, but every EISA Award winner remains the very best in its class. The sheer strength-in-depth of EISA’s members ensures the EISA Awards logo carries tremendous weight with all informed consumers. With the exception of products nominated purely for innovation or design, all candidates for EISA Award nomination must have been tested by at least five member magazines from the appropriate Expert Group before the EISA AGM and available for sale before 1st October 2017. Now, Australian Incar can’t claim to have had input into the awards this year, given we joined when the process was nearly complete. So we credit our European colleagues for their work in delivering the winners list that follows. From here on, however, there will be Australian input into the process, as we look forward to communing with our like-minded colleagues overseas. Please enjoy, then, the in-car winners from the EISA Awards 2017-2018!
Offering way more features than it has any right to at the price, this head unit boasts Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming and handsfree calls alongside Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for easy smartphone operation. Your choice of music comes via either the DAB+ digital radio receiver or streaming using Spotify Connect. It can play your own hi-res FLAC files too. Voice control ensures the driver can keep their hands on the wheel while flicking through their favourite tracks, and with additional upgrade options including a compatible dashcam and rear camera, the DMX7017DABS has all bases covered.
Taking pride of place at the top of Clarion’s range, this HD player is streets ahead of the competition when it comes to in-car entertainment. Compatibility with Apple’s CarPlay enables integration with your phone, so you can make calls, get directions, send and receive messages and access music. It boasts a 15-band graphic equaliser and provides a 96kHz/24-bit optical digital output to feed an offboard digital audio processor of your choice. You can also partner those sounds with pictures, thanks to the NX807E’s compatibility with an optional digital tuner for TV.
When it comes to being in control, few systems can compare to this – putting operation of your Mosconi GLADEN DSP with the original OEM system controls at your fingertips. Thanks to its CAN-BUS integration, the volume of different DSP sources is accessible via the original headunit knob and steering wheel controls, while the original ‘Aux’ button is also on hand for switching sources. The result is that there’s no need for any additional external controls if the music needs to be reduced or muted before receiving incoming calls, or if audible parking sensors need to be heard.
The fact that it’s specially designed for compact cabinets does little to deter this excellent subwoofer when it comes to delivering that all-important low-frequency performance. The newly developed, high-tech composite cone comes with a special coating to maintain high rigidity while keeping weight low. Combined with its large-diameter long-throw voice coil, for high power handling, and powerful magnet assembly, the result is a very pure, low distortion sound. The protection grille that seamlessly fits through specially designed slots in the basket flange delivers a final touch of elegance.
It’s easy to produce a subwoofer that shakes a car to its core, but ensuring it retains the purity of your music is an art, and one at which Pioneer excels. The fact this active sub achieves such performance from an ultra-slim chassis (just 97mm high) is impressive, and it can be slotted in the car boot with minimal loss of space. This is all possible thanks to its two 6.5in speakers and Class D amplifier with Digital Bass Control. Sound modes include the rich bass of ‘Deep’ for modern music and accurate, clear ‘Dynamic’ bass for jazz and classical.
Beating at the heart of this processor, Helix’s latest core boasts a cutting-edge 32-bit audio DSP with breath-taking processing power. The result is a beast that’s capable of controlling an eight-channel system without breaking into a sweat, while its wide input voltage range ensures excellent flexibility for integration into even the most complex of OEM systems. But the fun doesn’t stop there, for the DSP.2 also accommodates optional extension cards supporting Bluetooth audio, hi-res music streaming via USB and real-time frequency analysis with an external microphone.
This debut amp from Mosconi’s new PRO series suggests more good things are still to come from the brand. Boasting five independent channels of power – the first stereo pair provides 85W, the second pair 170W while the final channel uses a Class D amp to pipe a substantial 600W to the subwoofer. Maximum flexibility is ensured thanks to the inclusion of separate active crossovers in all channels or, alternatively, all crossovers can be bypassed to adapt the input parameter for use with Mosconi’s DSP.
The DSP to beat all rivals, the H8 will automatically re-equalise any OEM system to transform the in-car audio experience from the mundane to the fabulous, creating the most highly-spec’d and flexible entertainment system, with single high-level inputs, that money can buy. The H8 DSP includes a logic-switched User Control Set that allows for a highly personalised entertainment setup – it can even be automated using the seat belt sensors if desired. The processor accepts hi-res audio files up to 96kHz/24-bit via its optical digital input and is also perfectly suited for integration with OEM systems fitted with high-level inputs.
If the goal of a decent speaker system is to reproduce music with clarity and punch, then Vibe Audio ticks every box, providing a coherent and clear performance that comes into its own with vocals, pop and electronic music. The combination of high-quality materials and smart engineering starts with the 165mm woofer that includes a 90mm-diameter magnet, Conex spider and linear butyl rubber suspension. This driver blends beautifully with the high excursion tweeter whose response extends right down into the midrange. One further benefit is that a complex, power-sapping crossover is not required inside the CVEN62C-V4 which is supplied with a single Mundorf capacitor.