The future of car sound

Shutterstock.com/ Alexandru Nika

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Car lovers are often interested in very different things. Some love the roar of an engine. Others car about the pristine leather interior. Depending on what kind of car lover you are there is likely a different item that you are willing to pay above and beyond for. There is a high number of car enthusiasts that need a car with an impressive sound system. Whether it is to show off to the car beside them at traffic lights or simply to enjoy some great music on a long road trip, music matters. A new innovation taking place in car sound could be about to change the way we listen to music in cars forever.

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People have cared about the sound in their cars for many years. Since the first radio was put in people have been putting in speakers, and more speakers, and bigger speakers, and surround sound speakers. To date, the basic rule has been put in bigger and better speakers everywhere you can. This has led to some impressive sound systems but there is a limit to how many speakers we can fit in a car.

Continental is a company famous for its high-quality tires yet that may be about to change. They have come up with a new innovation in-car sound technology that has the potential to change how we listen to music and what we know Continental for, for years to come.

The idea is actually pretty simple but like many simple ideas, it has never been thought of before. In many musical instruments like an acoustic guitar or a violin, the shape and design of the instrument are created to amplify the sound. The box shape of the guitar captures the sound and emits it through the circular hole. 

If you have ever been to a studio or concert venue you may have noticed some strangely textured walls. Here they are using hard surfaces to reflect sounds and soft surfaces to absorb them. By creating the right mixture they can make the entire hall venue into a massive speaker to amplify the sound in a high-quality manner. Continental basically woke up one day and thought “What if we do it with a car?”

This will allow the company to forget about the speakers in a car and to focus instead on the car design and interior. By creating a suitable interior they will be able to turn the entire car into a speaker that will amplify the sound and create a surround sound feature throughout. It will feel like you are in a concert venue, in your car.

When my wife wants to do her makeup she will often go out to the car and use the passenger overhead mirror. She says that it is something about the combination of good lighting and a strong mirror. I don’t understand it but she loves it.

Perhaps the same will happen with audiophiles in the future. They will run to their car to hear a new song or album because there is nowhere in their home that has better sound quality. This may sound far-fetched but it makes a lot of sense.

The car is a small environment so the acoustics are already pretty good. If car manufacturers started to design the interior with sound in mind it could be the best place to listen to music full stop. This could change how we view music listening experiences in cars going forward.

Of course, if the car interior becomes this impressive we will likely want to match it up with a top-class music system to ensure that the music that is being played is of the highest quality. This means that the innovation is a win-win scenario for the automotive and stereo industry.