Exclusive collaboration reveals exciting audio entertainment innovations

Exclusive collaboration reveals exciting audio entertainment innovations  
Filed under:
Audio, Jaguar
on 01/11/2007

Jaguar’s new C-XF concept car, unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show, features next generation audio solutions from renowned sound expert Bowers & Wilkins. Emphasising the company’s reputation for audio excellence and innovation, Bowers & Wilkins’ first foray into the automotive entertainment arena reveals a range of technologies, materials and techniques, many of which make their debut.

Applying over 40 years of experience to the challenges of achieving great sound in the automotive environment, Bowers & Wilkins’ engineers have developed a unique in-car audio system, featuring Micro-Matrix speaker panels, ‘Bass Beam’ low-frequency driver technology, Kevlar® cone midrange speakers, diamond-dome tweeters, selective-directivity arrays in the rear passenger compartment, and a rear deck panel featuring a full complement of bass and wide-dispersion drivers.

Within the C-XF concept car, Bowers & Wilkins demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenges in reproducing sound effectively in-car, combining high-performance materials and technologies and integrating them into the Jaguar’s luxury interior. “The in-car environment is very complex,” says Martin Lindsay, Senior Business Development Manager at Bowers & Wilkins Automotive. “Restricted space, differing materials, and the need to satisfy multiple entertainment needs pose unique and often conflicting requirements.” Bowers & Wilkins has been involved in the concept car’s development from the start, and each element of the system has been devised using technologically-advanced concepts aimed at ensuring the best possible sound experience throughout.

This collaboration marks the beginning of Bowers and Wilkins’ relationship with Jaguar and selected partners to develop and deliver next-generation premium audio solutions. The system created for the Jaguar C-XF attests to Bowers & Wilkins’ acoustic expertise and signals the company’s commitment to bringing audio innovations to the car. “We recognise that consumers demand high-quality sound reproduction in their cars as well as in their homes,” continues Lindsay. “Achieving great sound in the car is viewed as the latest technological challenge for us, and we look forward to realising next-generation sound systems that set new standards for in-car entertainment.”

Bowers & Wilkins’ custom ‘audio concept’ system includes:

Jewel-like front and rear speaker panels utilising patented Micro-Matrix material, designed to deliver improved stiffness and damping properties. The material adds strength, avoids vibration and makes good use of the limited space typically available in the interior of the car.

‘Bass Beam’ low-frequency driver components, mounted in the doors, promoting structural integrity and superior audio imaging. Finding an ideal space for subwoofers in the car has always been problematic. This innovative design makes incorporation within the car’s doors possible and provides an optimal implementation for the achievement of forward stereo imaging and concentrated ‘up front’ bass.

Incorporation of Kevlar® cone drivers in the dashboard and doors, designed to achieve smoother response throughout its frequency range. The end result is that these speakers deliver more fine detail to the listener and eliminate off-axis tonal-balance problems.

Diamond-dome tweeters combined with award-winning Nautilus technology deliver unmatched high-frequency performance. The elements in the C-XF are taken from Bowers & Wilkins critically-acclaimed 800 Diamond Series loudspeakers. The tapered NautilusTM tube is now replaced by a compact, spiral version which damps unwanted reflections from the rear side of the tweeter element.

Selective-Directivity arrays under DSP control accurately direct full-range audio, creating improved clarity for back seat passengers while avoiding driver distraction. These components help achieve the goal of soundstage optimisation in response to changing passenger entertainment needs. These can be used to cover all listening conditions. For multichannel surround entertainment, these drivers help to deliver a seamless presentation front to rear.

Rear deck panel designed to create an even sound experience with a central-mounted bass driver and two flanking wide-dispersion drivers.

About Bowers & Wilkins

Founded in the UK in 1966, Bowers & Wilkins manufactures an award-winning range of loudspeakers. The company is world-renowned for its audio innovations, pioneering the use of Kevlar® and Diamond Dome tweeters in its quest to design the perfect loudspeaker. Bowers & Wilkins’ patented NautilusTM technology, featured in its top-of-the-line products, won the company the coveted Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2005. B&W Loudspeaker systems serve as the ‘audio reference’ in leading recording studios worldwide, including London’s Abbey Road. Its Steyning Research Establishment – often described as ‘The University of Sound’ – is widely recognised as being at the forefront of acoustic innovation.

Bowers & Wilkins produces the NautilusTM loudspeaker, which is an innovation and design statement in its own right and widely regarded as “possibly the best loudspeaker money can buy.”

Bowers & Wilkins is part of B&W Group Ltd which also owns Classé (a Montreal-based company offering a complementary line of high-performance components including amplifiers, surround processors, and AV source components).

Bowers & Wilkins products are sold through a global network of over 3,000 dealers in 62 countries.

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