ok, maybe most of us here dont care too much about a car stereo. but recently when i read that dynaudio provides the premium stereo to factory volvos, i was quite intrigued. mercedes and audi both have bose (i mention these two because they are more expensive cars, yet have trivially worse speakers).
however, it was hard as hell to find out which volvo models sported the "killer" factory car stereo. volvo finally replied telling me it is the luxury sedan S80 model. With over 300 watts of amplification in the specs i am equally impressed with the matching power for great drivers. HOWEVER, and this is what brought me rushing over to the forum to rant and rave because i cannot understand why such a terrrible mistake could be made. heres the stats volvo sent me, see for yourself:
The only audio system that us currently advertised as using Dynaudio
speakers is the premium sound system for the S80. The location and sizes
1. Front Door (each)..Woofer/midrange..6.5"..100W
2. Rear Door(each)...Woofer/midrange..6.5"..100W
3. Rear Hatshelf (one each
Rear Hatshelf (one each side)..Dome
4. *Dashboard Center
*Dashboard Center Speaker..Dome
4A. *With Navigation System..Dashboard Center
Spkr..4" x 2"..25W
*Dashboard Speakers aren't Dynaudio speakers.
do you see the problem? why the hell use all dynaudio speakers and then change the brand (note: non-specified) to something else for the center speakers. the package includes dolby surround II (very neat i agree), but doesnt this just not make any sence...like, at all?!?!?
furthermore, with such companies as bose providing stereos to premium cars, i am somewhat surprised dynaudio even considered taking on the task of equipping factory vehicles with their excellent product.
Why would you be surprised - Mercedes and others using Bose get to use the Bose name - Bose is the number one maker of speakers in the world - Bose is king to those who don't know any better - the high end market of stereos is very small - if it were LARGE - Bose would have went out of business.
Car companies want to sell cars - so to aid them why not get names people know - Now I don't know how much selling your car stereo is going to convince people to buy your car - personally I would be more impressed with Lexus for two reasons they make far superior cars to what Germany puts out - if not a car guys car - there is debate but hey Lexus uses Mark Levinson. This too is marketing - but Lexus is banking on consumers who have high taste in luxury cars probably also have high taste in stereos - and those who do will know the difference between Lexus and Bose.
Of course none of that means Mark Levinson put a decent system in the cars - the Bose might be better for all anyone knows. If Bose WANTED to they could build great systems - but as with most corporations the last thing you want is to give the consumer anything more than you absolutely HAVE TO. Doing that eats profits.
Since every car stereo I've heard is pretty lousy they would not sell me a car based on the speakers. But I did NOT buy a car based on the sound system. They were selling a Mazda MX prescideo or whaterever - and I told the dealer that I did not want the stereo - it was an 8 speaker system in basically a 4seater but adults would not be able to sit up in the back. they told me the stereo came with it and I HAD to buy it. Screw them bought a Honda Civic that has no stereo
Dynaudio has been doing some of the volvo stereos for at least a few years. The one time I got to play with one of them still stands out as the single most impressive sound system I have ever heard in a car. They only had original pro-logic back then and believe it or not it sounded amazing for music. This was also the one and only time I would ever compare a car system to a home system. Everytime I see a volvo I think about that system and I want one. I never would have considered one until then. By the way the one I saw had Fosgate amps, stock.
eis - from what i understand it is the best stock stereo there is. im glad you were impressed.
rga - volvos arent bad cars. especially the newer models.
but i think i wasnt making pressumptions on any car stereo. i was just surprised that dynaudio agreed to put their speakers in a car. although i am certain it was for financial gain. but more surprisngly is that in a surround system, fronts and rears are dynaudio and the center is by another company altogether. that kindof defeated the purpose of putting in a good car stereo to begin with.
I have no idea either why Volvo would choose to not use Dyn speakers all the way around but I'm quite sure their sound engineers had their reasons. Dyn has been building and selling car audio speakers for a long time, just like JM Lab/Focal, so it's not surprising to see them in a Volvo. Who knows, maybe Peugeot and Renault use Focal's in their upper end cars? The Volvo system btw, sounds terrific. The ML in the Lexus is also a great sounding system, even if it is overly bright. I do question as too how much was designed, engineered, and built by ML. Don't forget they are a subsidiary of Harmon, a company with established car audio products from HK, Infiniti, and JBL. A little labeling hocus-pocus would certainly not be unheard of and quite frankly, it would be a lot cheaper as well as more profitable for all parties involved.
FWIW, the best oem sound system I've heard so far is the DVD-A Panny system in the Acura TL. This is a true multi-channel hi-rez system and is by far the most balanced and enveloping.
Of course, this is all relative as most aren't much better than a good office mini-system. It's kind of like seeing a dog dancing on it's hind legs: You're not so much impressed by how well the dog dances, but that it can dance at all.
DTS is for HT apps, DVD-A and SACD are strictly music. Oddly enough, Panny only went DVD-A (probably because of their more "pop" friendly catalogue) when they had the opportunity to put a universal player in there and also decode SACD. What a waste...