The audio experience within a car play an important role when it comes to how much a motorist enjoys his ride. This is why Ford opted for the HARMAN’s B&O PLAY audio system in its 2018 Ford Expedition and the all-new 2018 Ford EcoSport. The company even used the services of expert listeners trained by HARMAN to optimize the B&O PLAY audio system for use in these models. Ford then spent as much as 1,200 hours per vehicle over a period of two years in order to ensure that the audio experience in both these models is truly an optimal one.
Commenting on the experience, Michael O’Brien, Ford SUV Group Marketing manager said that while data related to speaker measurements and architecture details can help to tune the audio system of a vehicle, there is nothing like feedback from trained listeners to help ensure that the EcoSport and Expedition audio systems deliver an audio experience that is customized and consistently high-quality audio so that consumers eagerly look forward to every drive.
The listeners for the feedback study were carefully selected based on many factors like their height, age, sex, and ethnicity. They were then asked to listen to seven 30-second snatches of music in an isolated space with acoustics similar to those of a conventional living room, while carefully evaluated these clips with regard to elements like bass, tonal qualities in voices, and instrument reproduction.
They were then asked to listen to these very same clips in a development vehicle and rate that experience to that of being in the living-room-like space. They were then asked to share their feedback with the engineering team with regard to distortion, buzzing, or vibration.
The 2018 Ford Expedition will have an optional 12-speaker B&O PLAY system with subwoofer and 10-channel amp with digital processing. The 2018 EcoSport Titanium will come standard with a 10-speaker B&O PLAY system with tweeters in the front doors and subwoofer in the rear. Ford is planning to eventually roll the B&O PLAY audio system out as an option for more vehicles in its range.
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