9 audio brands producing the best sound systems in cars
Many high-end audio systems in vehicles today owe their existence to Harman, an American electronics producer for automobiles. Harman was acquired by Samsung in 2017, and its presence in the global automotive industry is unarguably pervasive and impressive. Harman operates numerous sub-brands like Infinity, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Bang & Olufsen.
Bang & Olufsen
German brands like Audi and BMW carry Bang & Olufsen( B&O) for their high-end audio systems. This brand produces a patented “3D” sound system for vehicles, which comes in 3D Advanced (up to 23 speakers at 1,920 watts) and 3D Premium forms (up to 19 speakers at 755 watts). You can find the former on the higher-priced Audi Q7 and A8 or the latter on the lower-priced A4 and A5. Ford also added B&O to their higher-end models in the recent years.
The Bose brand is synonymous with cutting-edge, premium audio systems, so you will find numerous cars boasting Bose equipment. The 12-speaker Bose High-End Surround Sound System can be found on cars ranging from the Mazda3 to the Porsche 718 Cayman. American luxury brands equip their vehicles with these advanced products, like the 14-speaker Bose Performance Series system on the Corvette or Cadillac XT5.
Bowers & Wilkins
British audio equipment company B&W has been in business for over a half-century. With impeccable expertise, B&W provides the premium audio systems available in Jaguar, Maserati, and Volvo lineups, including some BMW models. A highlight is the 1,280-watt 17-speaker system on the Maserati Levante.
For decades, Burmester has been a leader in premium audio systems in Europe. Therefore, it is no surprise that this German company partners with Mercedes-Benz for its many cars and SUVs. A highlight is the 16-speaker configuration in the G-Class with all the tweeters and woofers you can imagine.
Dodge pulls out all the stops for its performance cars, and that includes its audio systems. The Dodge Challenger feature an 18-speaker Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system that immerses you in a 360° aural experience further enhanced by a power-saving Class-D GreenEdge amplifier.
Premium Korean models like the Kia K900 and Genesis sedans carry the Lexicon audio brand, which offer a 7.1-channel surround output through an assembly of 17 speakers.
Many Lexus models you drive will have a Mark Levinson audio system installed, because the Mark Levinson works exclusively with Lexus vehicles to produce their equipment. Their best system produces 1800 watts of amplified power across 17 speakers.
Another British speaker manufacturer, Naim Audio has maintained a partnership with Bentley since 2008, going so far as to produce wireless, in-home speakers that match the style and appearance of their in-vehicle speakers. That way, you can listen to the powerful 2,200-watt 21-speaker system in your Bentley and then move to the living room for an equally immersive continual great sound.
The biggest sound system available today is the Revel Ultima 3D system found on the Lincoln Aviator. This configuration uses a whopping 28 speakers throughout the SUV, including multiple embedded in the headliner. It also employs Harman’s Clari-Fi technology. It maxes out around 1,200 watts, though.
And the Winner is…
By the sheer quantity of speakers, the Revel Ultima system is the biggest sound system available today. DRIVEtorque moves to choose the Naim Audio system as tops, as it is the most powerful sound system out there.