I am not taken in with the automotive mystique. I like a nice, clean, safe, reliable car that doesn’t suck, but beyond that I don’t much care. I am interested in good audio in the car, though, simpky because I am interested in good audio everywhere. Here is an engrossing look at the current and future state of the art in car audio from Edmunds.com via AOL Autos:
- Stereophonic sound reproduction dates back to the 1930s when it was developed by Bell Telephone and a British sound engineer named A.D. Blumlien. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that affordable stereo technology began making its way into our homes. A fusing of two Greek words meaning “solid” and “sound,” the term “stereo” generally refers to a type of sound reproduction using two separate channels regardless of how many speakers there are.
Of course, the modern “stereo” or audio system has moved well beyond a simple turntable and two speakers. Today’s audio systems are highly complex and can often reproduce music that sounds even better than the original thanks to multitrack recording and sophisticated mixing equipment and techniques. With the advent of digital technology and the ever shrinking size of the needed components, many of us are able to purchase home audio equipment that as recently as the 1980s would have been considered professional-grade.
As home audio has changed, naturally, so has car audio. One of the areas in which we’ve seen the biggest improvement is in the level of sophistication of entertainment systems we find in today’s cars – specifically, sound reproduction and clarity.
….Certainly we’ve come a long way since the early stereophonic recordings of the 1930s. As home audio systems have improved so have in-car systems – in fact, it’s the automakers’ decision to utilize such home audio giants as Bose and Harmon-Kardon that makes today’s car stereo so much better than they were only 10 or 15 years ago. While the future of new processes and storage formats such as MP3 and DVD-A seem unclear, we can be sure that the automakers will continue to improve on their successes and bring more and more refinement to the one thing there is no substitute for – a loud stereo in a fast car.