Car speakers can change your driving experience

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A decent pair of car speakers such as the Audison Prima cutaway pictures shown on the left can transform the enjoyment of music on the move. Many  customers new to car audio can be tempted to simply apply what they know from home hifi dalliances to the car. While similar principles regarding the physical workings of this miracle of electromechanical technology is very similar there are important attributes which do not apply to a pair of neat boxes sitting on stands at ear height in your living room.

Stereo set up

If only car audio was this easy

Firstly, as described, home hifi speakers are built and positioned to point at your ears. By some amazing lunacy, this principle has not been adhered to by car manufacturers who instead of establishing a solid sound stage with speaker placement, do everything in their power to compromise the performance of speakers that are already not very good, by pointing them at the driver’s toes or at best, knees. The blend of low frequencies emanating from “toeward-facing” woofers are then detached from high frequencies, which are produced by tweeters mounted some 60cm or more away from the woofers and point toward each other across the dashboard resulting in disjointed, practically monaural reproduction. With these physical impediments, the only way to turn the car into the joyful music listening capsule we all crave is to design the speakers to compensate.

Audison Prima is a great example of the technology and hard work put in over many years of research and development to cope with the serious restrictions put in the way of great sound by car manufacturers who simply don’t care about ears!

Woofers to the toes, tweeters to the elbows!

Woofers to the toes, tweeters to the elbows!

Audison Prima features technologies and attributes that go further to compensate for lunatic speaker placement than any other brand I have come across. The focus has been with managing to provide a speaker with a very wide dispersion characteristic. That is to say that where as a home speaker may output a relatively narrow beam of sound, the car equivalent produces a comparatively wide sound field. In the case of Prima woofers, they feature a cone which is shallow and also has a v-shaped profile to help with rigidity and dispersion. As air movement, the key phenomena to the transmission of sound, is enabled from the entire surface of the cone, it is therefore possible to establish a sound stage that allows music to be heard with the right and left side stereo signals assuming their right place in the resulting sound.

If dispersion is important with frequencies up to 3k or 3.5k it is even more vital above these as the higher the frequency of a sound the more directional it is. The opposite is also true which is why a subwoofer runs in mono and you only need one, even in a stereo set up. Silk dome cones used in Audison Prima tweeters are utilised for accurate placement and reproduction of direction specific musical elements. They are sensitive to low-level stimuli which makes them ideal for reinforcing and dispersing directional information and there are sophisticated damping and phase stabilising attributes offering further accuracy despite the locational compromises presented by factory locations.

However, despite the priority of dispersion, speakers have to sound musical. It is sometimes possible for technologists to get too involved in the minutiae of a project like a speaker design and perhaps over look its primary purpose. This is certainly not the case with Prima speakers which although not intended to ascend the pinnacle of sound reproduction, provide car owners with a vast improvement over standard equipment even when run from the standard head unit.

By consulting with a good specialist installer, a FOUR MASTER for instance, it is possible to relocate speakers to make them more music friendly however for many this is not an option either due to cost or lease agreement stipulations regarding the condition of a vehicle when it comes to the end of its contract. Prima gives everyone a chance to actually enjoy music whilst driving and when correctly installed into treated door panels will drop the jaws of most.

Upgrading speakers is just the beginning of course, but if I were asked to recommend a starting point for journey toward great sound in a car then I would heartily recommend a set of Audison Prima components installed with good levels of sound treatment, which should be available for £300 or less, all in. Call 0800 652 5125 or click the logo below to find your local FOUR MASTER.

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