Now each can listen to their own
Harman’s new in-car setup creates ‘individual sound zones’
HARMAN has announced a new in-car setup that allows drivers to create “individual sound zones”, each of which can play different sounds with minimal interference from other zones.
The zones divide the car’s interior into “virtual, simultaneous in car entertainment systems” to allow passengers to listen uninterrupted to their entertainment when the driver’s phone rings or the navigation system gives a direction.
Senior analyst Mark Boyadjis said global sales of premium audio systems in cars are expected to grow between seven and 10% annually, which was why many automakers are working set their car sound systems apart.
“Wattage and speaker count doesn’t cut it any more. Innovations in software, hardware, materials, and audio source content are becoming the key components to improving the in-vehicle audio experience.”
Harman’s car zones are created with the car’s existing speakers, twin 50 mm directional units that are integrated into the headrests, and flat electrodynamic planar loudspeakers in the car’s headlining. The digital signal processing has been specifically adjusted to the vehicle cabin and speakers such that it will temper the signals from other zones, regardless of whether it’s music, voice or other noises.
Passengers can still hear other sounds in the cabin, but those sounds are controlled in a way that limits the interruptions and distractions to each passenger’s own sound experience. The configuration can be customised based on the cabin design and layout of vehicles, as well as type of vehicle from hatchbacks to panelvans.
Individual Sound Zones can be integrated into any Harman in-car audio system via the amplifier, providing automakers limitless possibilities to further enhance in-car listening experiences. It is available now to all automakers. According to Harman the ISZ system is now available to automakers and can be integrated into any Harman audio system via the amplifier, as well as tailored to a specific vehicle layout. It can also be coupled with the company’s HALOsonic active noise cancellation technology, which is designed to combat engine and road noise.
It is not the size of the speaker, but the noise cancellation wizardry behind it that will sell future car systems, predict Harman, which recently announced a car system with four individual listening zones.