Millennials want music wherever they go, which is why portable music devices are so popular amongst them. They’re also most likely to drive affordable small cars where cost and low monthly payments are vital.
Harman’s combined the two at CES 2016 and created the audio solution of the future for them: Infinity Voyager Drive.
At its core is a tough portable Bluetooth speaker. This can be docked into a self-contained speaker unit built into the dash, seamlessly: the music doesn’t even pause.
Nor will it pause when you take it out again.
The Voyager unit is scalable too: add on a portable subwoofer, combine other Voyager units, or simply enjoy the premium audio experience of the basic install without the premium price tag.
Add in the fact it means automakers won’t have to fit a stereo, speakers in the doors or other costly gubbins and it’s a compelling concept, believes Harman.
“Automakers recognise that premium audio can be an effective way to differentiate their vehicles and appeal to new customers, and they are looking for next-generation features that go beyond traditional sound reproduction,” said John Fitzgerald, SVP and general manager, Car Audio for Harman.
“We are redefining the concept of automotive audio as adaptive and tailored to each individual in ways never before possible and, for the first time, we are extending these experiences beyond the vehicle to seamlessly connect music to more elements of consumers’ daily lives.”
How it works
The base unit is a detachable wireless speaker that docks with six dynamic in-dash speakers.
Dirac Panorama sound stage algorithms offer standard surround sound functionality, which could be tailored to the acoustics of individual cars. These
Scalability comes with the Voyager Drive+ removable bass box: keep it in the boot and take both it and the Voyager Drive unit outside for the mythical beach parties tech marketers so love (or, more likely, a summer BBQ in the back garden).
It also has SoundClear noise cancellation tech and offers Harman AMX compatibility that will connect to things in your home such as lighting. Free disco lights: what could be better?
Carmakers are interested, says Harman: look out for it coming as an option to entry-level cars within the next few years.