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Harman Kardon and Renault collaborate on Mégane E-TECH Electric in-car sound system

Harman Kardon has announced a partnership with French automobile manufacturer Renault to produce a sound system for the new Mégane E-TECH Electric car.

Due to hit the road in 2022, the new electric car is said to represent the “first step” in a relationship between Harman and Renault to provide “exceptional” in-car experiences for drivers and passengers.

The interior of the Mégane E-TECH Electric was completely redesigned with Renault’s design team working with Harman Kardon’s acoustics engineers to create the look. Made up of nine speakers – including a subwoofer – they’re powered by a digital multichannel amplifier that delivers 410W of power.

Mégane E-TECH Electric interior design

Aesthetically, the grilles of the two tweeters in the dashboard are made of stainless steel in a look that mirrors the 60° pattern of the Harman Kardon brand logo.

The promise of the system is to deliver a sound that’s balanced and powerful, with music and spoken words delivered naturally. The in-car system’s spatial arrangement and custom sound tuning is calibrated in such a way that the listener can “precisely localise all sound sources, and focus on the sound stage”, to give the impression of a bigger space.

The sound system also uses an algorithm that equalises phase responses to create a stable, well-defined and coherent stereo image that, Harman and Renault state, is the same for all those seated inside the car.

Other tricks the Harman Kardon system can perform is its Vehicle Speed Compensation algorithm. This maintains the music’s reproduction level and tonal balance at any speed, presumably toning it down rather than revving it up when you put the pedal to the floor.

The Virtual Centre technology is capable of processing each speaker’s audio signal to guarantee an unbiased stereo soundscape, with the sweet spot delivered right in front of each listener for the best listening experience.

The automatic level adjustment compensates for any differences in volume and intensity, while Harman’s Externally Coupled Subwoofer technology reduces the weight and volume (that’s size not audio levels) of the woofer while still claiming to generate “exceptionally high performance” in the lower registers.

Harman’s QLS (QuantumLogic Surround) separates input sources and arranges them into individual streams and speakers to create “immersive surround sound with a unique stage, envelopment, and surrounding content for each passenger”.

Those inside can choose between five sound modes to match their individual preferences. Those are Studio (truthful to artist intentions): Concert (wide stereo soundstage), Immersion (for the feeling of being surrounded), Lounge (a more intimate approach) and Club (bigger bass).

All being well, the Renault Mégane E-TECH Electric will go on sale in 2022. No word on a price as yet.

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