An acquaintance gave me a lift to show off his brand-new supercar. Normally listening to the roar of a supercharged twelve litre engine would be all I was after.
But what he really wanted me to listen to was the sound system. Over two hundred thousand pounds was the price paid for the car, but a sizeable chunk of that must have gone into this bespoke stereo that in many surveys comes out as the best in the world.
So, the throttle was eased off and the two-thousand and two-hundred-watt, twenty speaker system came on.
In fact, he didn’t have to ease off on the accelerator as the system automatically increases sound as the revs increase.
It’s always the case that when you’ve seen or heard the best of anything, it’s hard to appreciate anything inferior.
However, what it did prove to me is how good it can be. So maybe it’s possible to make some improvements to my modest saloon car.
A car sound system consists of certain components no matter the quality. The three main parts of any sound system are the speakers, the amplifier and the header unit. So, surely the better the quality of each part including perhaps additional speakers is all that is needed.
To get much more information I went to a well-advertised car audio installation near me to discuss what chance I had to improve the sound system in my car.
They were extremely helpful although they pointed out one missing ingredient and that’s the insulation.
When luxury cars are designed, much more attention is focused on the insulation.
Dampening is there to keep road noises out of the car and the sounds locked in. These luxury cars have perhaps twenty speakers but there is some science between the type of speaker and the direction they face.
The other aspect about acoustics is that sound waves bounce off hard surfaces, like metal, and get absorbed by soft material, like upholstery. You may notice that luxury cars are frequently entirely finished in leather.