High Efficiency Car Audio

If Only All Decisions Were This easy

Audison is revolutionising car audio. Having enjoyed a long time at the top with their high-end speakers and amplifiers they are always looking forward. Their gaze at the moment seems to be toward making more efficient systems, but why?

As always, there are a number of possible answers here. Fundamentally, more efficient systems require less “power”. I use this word guardedly as most people interested in audio think only of output power (SPL) but I am thinking about power consumption. Of course the two are closely related. Output power requires a proportional amount of input power, we don’t get anything for nothing. The consequence of this is that if you need 500 Watts out of an amplifier to drive a pair of speakers, you will need to supply more than this in terms of operating voltage (V) and current (A).

A Typical Car Alternator

The issue with input power is that the on-board generator (Alternator) has a finite capacity. The vehicle battery is also key especially with auto Stop/Start vehicles on short journeys. This problem of power will be further heightened with the increase in numbers of electric vehicles. We would become extremely unpopular if drivers of EV’s noticed a significant reduction in range or performance when they turn their car audio systems up!

Help is at hand as always, as science always has an answer. The best approach is to design audio upgrades that use less input power. This means making speakers more efficient. The efficiency of a speaker is stated in dB/W/M or more usually dB SPL these days. This tells us how much output (how loud) a speaker is with 1 watt RMS running into a speaker and is measured at a distance of 1 Meter. Therefore, the more efficient the speaker the less amplified output is required to make a loud noise!

Audison Prima AP 8.9bit Amplifier

Amplifiers can also play an important role in saving power. Super-efficient Class D technology requires a fraction of the power needed by a Class A amplifier to give the same output.

The Audison Prima range has been developed with this specific goal in mind. A range of amplifiers including some with sophisticated processing on board squeeze the most out of the input volts and also have sophisticated power management processing on board. This monitors “trends” in the music you are listening to and reduces level when faced with repeating heavy bass notes, that are particularly hungry for power.

FOUR MASTERS have already deployed Audison Prima amps and speakers in electric and hybrid vehicles with little if any effect on range (See article in Driving Sounds: https://www.drivingsounds.co.uk/articles/driving-sounds-issue-7/tesla-tunes/). As well as their high efficiency, these cars run quieter too, which is another bonus when considering current draw.

So, why are not all music systems made with high efficiency speakers? This is a question for another day perhaps – There is definitely a performance compromise but in a car, it is doubtful that a passenger would notice. All audio is a compromise and we think those Audison has employed with its Prima equipment are heavily outweighed by performance.

Visit a FOUR MASTER and ask for a demonstration soon!