Buying a new car is always an exciting time. With the rise in the popularity of car leasing, manufacturers are increasingly giving you more options on new vehicle. For those of us with a more sensitive ear for the melodic, the sound system included with the car, either as standard or as an optional extra, is definitely something to take into consideration, when looking down that options list.
Ever since the first in-car radios were introduced in the 1930’s, car companies have developed sound systems from cassette tape player to Apple Car play, because of how perfectly driving and music go together - and the technology hasn’t stopped improving since. There is no doubt that we all like to listen to something whilst we are driving, whether you listen to your favourite album on repeat, catch up on the latest podcasts or simply enjoy the good old-fashioned radio, it should be a joy to listen to either solo or with friends. Music is meant to be a rich, emotional experience and getting into your car shouldn’t change that. So, what are the best sound systems available and which manufacturers have links with specific brands? We’ve complied a few of the best sound systems available to buy in the UK today, to give you an idea of which brand might suit you best.
The sound system of choice across the Jaguar Land Rover portfolio of cars is British company Meridian Audio. The company has been around since the 1970’s and they use that experience to deliver sound systems with great definition, exquisite design and deep, thunderous bass. On the Land Rover Discovery, your music of choice comes to you through 12 speakers placed specifically to make the most of the considerable space inside the car. The high-quality system will ensure that every passenger gets that immersive music experience and you, as the driver, get the front row seat. The Meridian system uses a dual channel subwoofer and speakers around the car to give a great ‘all around’ audio experience for you and your passengers. There is also the option to upgrade to 14 speakers if you choose the top of the range HSE Luxury model. In this higher-grade system, you’ll be treated to the Meridian Surround Sound System 825W with 14 speakers and a subwoofer, compared to the standard 380W 12 speaker system you will get on the Landmark edition and above.
As a brand, Harman Kardon pride themselves on producing sounds systems that focus on quality music reproduction which always preserves its character, and the high audio quality of their systems reflect this. They acknowledge that the interior of a car is a tricky space for acoustics, so they use a software based equalizing system call AuraVox which uses computer level adjustment meaning the speakers can unleash their full potential. The location of these speakers along with the Logic 7 System, offers superior surround sound, to make sure you get a 360° sound experience in any location in the vehicle. For those considering a BMW but have an even higher expectation for their sound systems, they offer an upgrade to the Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround system. If you were looking at a 5 Series saloon you can upgrade to this system for £2,885* which gives you 16 backlit speakers and a premium set up. Both options integrate perfectly with BMW iDrive so changing the configuration of the sound system is effortless, and you can get back to what’s important - listening to and enjoying your music.
For those of you looking for a small city car, there is no need to compromise on sound system quality, as Bose have developed a small vehicle sound system called the BOSE® PERSONAL®. In the Nissan Micra, you have the option to choose how immersed you are in the sound. The experience can be optimised for the driver by focusing the sound at the front of the car and making use of the UltraNearfield speakers built into the headrests. Alternatively, you can have the sound aimed more centrally the vehicle or change the focus to an all-around experience through the 6-speaker system. The Bose PersonalSpace Control feature is built into the cars media system, so can be easily adjusted and personalised to you at the touch of a button. The speakers provide a clear and high-quality sound, which is to be expected of a household brand like Bose and you’ll find Bose systems across the Nissan range including the GTR.
If you’re in the market for a British sports car, the elegance and undisputable ‘cool’ factor of an Aston Martin has to be a contender. The sound of the engine is a symphony in itself of course, but what is a road trip in a Grand Tourer without music? Since 2005 Bang & Olufsen (B&O) have been working with Aston Martin to create a bespoke system that is perfectly matched to the cars, so much so that the sound performance is developed using the exact dimension of the cars interior, meaning the speakers accompany the interior design of the car as well as guaranteeing uncompromising quality and style. For example, in the In the DBS Superlegerra, the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system consists of 10 speakers placed around the cabin, ensuring the driver enjoys the ‘sweet spot’ position. The ICEpower technology in the system guarantees high power and high sound quality, ensuring a crisp and clear sound at all volumes. And for that added touch, as you press the power button, 2 sleek speakers rise from the dash, awakening the inner James Bond in all of us.
Music is a very personal experience, be it genre, style and even volume, and so is your choice of car. There are so many options when it comes to new cars available in the UK right now, and your choice will be dependent on many factors, but hopefully when it comes to sound systems, this has given you an insight into the types of systems available, and which system you can expect to see when looking around the dealerships.
Turn the volume up and enjoy!
*Details correct as of 09/01/2020 on manufacturer website.