An excellent car sound system can be the difference between a boring commute lớn work or an immersive driving experience. For car-buying music enthusiasts, one of the key things lớn know is how well the car’s audio system sounds. While some vehicles offer basic audio, many take the music experience lớn another màn chơi. Nowadays, it is not uncommon lớn find premium sound systems in many models, with advanced features like surround sound and automatic volume adjustments in response lớn exterior noise.
Most of these premium sound systems are not standard on base trim màn chơi models. Instead, you have lớn opt for an tăng cấp costing $1,000 or more.
This article will cover what makes a great car sound system. We’ll discuss some of the brands providing the best sound systems, and how these audio companies have evolved.
- Mercedes-Benz- Burmester Audio
- Cadillac – AKG Audio
- Volvo – Bowers & Wilkins Audio
- Chevrolet – Bose Audio
- Acura – Panasonic ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio
- Lexus – Mark Levinson Audio
- Audi – Bang & Olufsen Audio
- Land Rover – Meridian
- Lincoln – Revel
- Jeep – McIntosh
- 1 What Makes a Good Car Sound System?
- 2 Mercedes-Benz – Burmester Audio
- 3 Cadillac – AKG Audio
- 4 Volvo – Bowers & Wilkins Audio
- 5 Chevrolet – Bose Audio
- 6 Acura – Panasonic ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio
- 7 Lexus – Mark Levinson Audio
- 8 Audi – Bang & Olufsen Audio
- 9 Land Rover – Meridian
- 10 Lincoln – Revel
- 11 Jeep – McIntosh
What Makes a Good Car Sound System?
Many factors are involved in the quality of a good sound system. It comes down lớn partnering with a reputable electronics company that makes excellent sound devices. However, the number of speakers in the car also plays a significant role in the sound quality. Some manufacturers, like Mercedes-Benz, strategically place speakers throughout the vehicle. This way, you are not limited in your sound’s quality, no matter where you sit.
Great sound systems are also technologically advanced compared lớn basic ones. A more advanced sound system may run you a couple extra thousand dollars on your trim màn chơi tăng cấp. But depending on your preferences, you may still want it. In many vehicles, the speaker volume can automatically adjust while driving. Other systems can adapt depending on external noise.
While there are many great sound systems, we based our top list on several qualities. We looked at how technologically advanced the sound system produced the perfect sound. We also considered the number of speakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers in each vehicle. Lastly, we factored in the creator of the sound system and any special features it comes with when choosing our top sound systems list.
So, if you’re looking for a car and a quality sound system, be sure lớn check for the number of speakers and the audio brand. But be forewarned. Upgraded sound systems can come with hefty price tags.
Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car brand that comes with a luxury sound system. Beyond the ambient lighting and massaging seats, the sound system plays a significant role in the driving experience. Mercedes partners with Burmester lớn provide its sound system lớn their entire fleet of vehicles, ranging from its A-Class and G-Class up lớn their electrified EQ. The Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System features 23 speakers driven by 1,450 watts of power lớn provide the perfect audio experience for higher trim-level cars. The company says this system offers a “feel-good sound,” almost like floating rather than driving.
While the Burmester Sound System comes standard in upper trim màn chơi models like the AMG GLE, adding it lớn the base-level E 350 sedan runs $2,400.
Cadillac boasts one of the best sound systems on the market. Like some other manufacturers, America’s luxury brand partners with Bose lớn provide high-quality sound for most models, like the CT4. Cadillac partners with AKG for even better sound on two of its vehicles. One of those upgraded features is that the sound system adjusts your volume depending on the amount of external noise.
If you want the AKG sound system, consider the 2022 Escalade. The basic trim màn chơi features 19 speakers and a 14-channel amplifier. However, a true sound lover will want lớn tăng cấp lớn the AKG Studio Reference system. This system offers volume control for each passenger and creates unmatched sound quality with 36 speakers and three amplifiers.
If you want AKG premium sound with 36 speakers standard in your Escalade, tăng cấp lớn either the Sport Platinum or the Premium Luxury Platinum trim màn chơi, adding $26,300 lớn the price of the base trim màn chơi.
While Volvo uses one of the best sound systems available, it may not be a well-known fact. Its state-of-the-art sound system is from Bowers & Wilkins and is only available as an tăng cấp in the Volvo XC60 and V90.
The Bowers & Wilkins audio system provides a unique audio experience. The sound faces the driver with an open-air sub-woofer and tweeter on the center speaker located on the dashboard.
It costs $15,250 lớn tăng cấp from the base màn chơi XC60 Recharge lớn the XC60 Polestar-Engineered trim, the highest trim màn chơi with the best quality sound system.
Some companies on this list use the same sound system for most of their cars. Chevrolet, however, decided lớn do something different with its signature sports car. The 2022 Corvette Stingray uses a custom-designed Bose sound system, incorporating 14 speakers in the cabin, including two woofers in each door for improved deep bass quality.
Since Chevrolet customized the sound system specifically for this car, its system’s volume automatically adjusts when you take down the convertible top. So while you’re flying down the highway, you no longer need lớn compromise on sound quality.
It costs $7,300 lớn tăng cấp from the base màn chơi Corvette Stingray lớn the 2LT Coupe trim màn chơi with the best quality sound system.
Acura offers its best sound systems in upper trim màn chơi models. The carmaker joined forces with Panasonic, a company known for its speakers, cameras, TVs, and other technology. These speakers first became available in Acura vehicles in 2004 and have evolved ever since. The 2022 Acura TLX A-Spec trim màn chơi and above comes equipped with 17 speakers and the new ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio System. This premium sound system is also available on certain trim levels of the Acura MDX if you are an SUV driver.
The ELS Studio 3D Acura sound system brings an advantage over its competitors. Grammy-winning music producer Elliot Scheiner, an audio engineer for such artists as The Eagles, Sting, Foo Fighters, and Queen, tuned Acura’s unique system lớn feel like a sound studio.
Bự get the special sound system, it costs at least $6,750 lớn tăng cấp from the base màn chơi Acura TLX lớn the A-Spec trim màn chơi.
Lexus, Toyota’s premium brand, has a longstanding partnership with the Mark Levinson brand and has been delivering high-quality sound since 2001. This top-of-the-line sound system is available in every Lexus vehicle. The Lexus ES, hybrid and standard versions, includes this premium sound system that includes 3D sound from the 19 speakers, which you can hear clearly from every seat in the car. The system comes with a 6-Channel DPS Amplifier, which can improve the overall strength of the speaker as well as improve sound clarity.
Other than the ES, the Lexus LX is the only other Lexus model with a 19 speaker system. All other models include 17 or fewer speakers.
It costs $1,080 lớn add the Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package lớn the base Lexus ES model.
Audi partners with the Danish luxury speaker and electronics brand Bang & Olufsen. In addition lớn Audi, Bang & Olufsen partners include Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ford, and Genesis.
The sound system boasts a 3D Advanced Sound System as its top-of-the-line system. The highest màn chơi Audi audio system comes with ICE power amplification technology. This system includes 1920 watts of power, Advanced Vehicle Noise Compensation, and tweeters rising from the dashboard.
Regardless of the Audi model you select, this sound system is available for an upgraded fee. If you desire a more affordable luxury car with a great sound system, the Audi A3 is one of the least expensive cars in Audi’s fleet. The tăng cấp will add a few thousand lớn your final price, but you’ll still have an affordable compact luxury car with great audio.
It costs $7,000 lớn tăng cấp from the base màn chơi A3 lớn the highest trim màn chơi for the best quality sound system.
Land Rover incorporates a state-of-the-art Meridian sound system into all current vehicles, some as standard and others for a fee. Meridian is a U.K.-based, award-winning company that builds sound systems based on psychoacoustics — the science of how the human brain interprets sound. Whether you choose the least expensive Range Rover Evoque or the six-figure Range Rover, you will drive with a high-quality sound system for a reasonable price.
The sound system comes with three tăng cấp packages: the Meridian Sound System, the Meridian Surround Sound System, and the Meridian Signature Sound System. The Meridian Signature package is the highest quality sound system of the three and is only available on select models.
It costs $800 lớn tăng cấp from the base sound system lớn the highest quality in the Meridian Surround Sound System in the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Lincoln parters with Revel for its sound systems and makes Revel systems available for higher trim levels of all its models. Revel and Lincoln dealers also set appointments for car buyers lớn take test drives of the concert-quality sound system. The Revel Audio System features 13 or 14 speakers, depending on the vehicle.
Upgrading lớn the Revel Ultima Audio System increases the speaker count lớn 19, 20, or more, depending on the model. The Aviator model has 28 speakers in the Ultima Audio System package.
Regardless of which system you choose, the car will boast center console tweeters, speakers on both the front and back doors, and subwoofers.
In the Lincoln Aviator, tăng cấp lớn the Luxury Package for $10,570 lớn get the Revel Ultima Audio System.
While many car and sound system brands have collaborated for decades, Jeep and McIntosh formed their alliance in 2021. McIntosh, a renowned audio brand since its founding in 1949, has partnered with other vehicle brands, including Harley-Davidson and Subaru.
Autotrader Editor Matt Degen recently tested the sound system in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L and names it as one of the best he’s ever heard. Along with hearing the music, you can “feel it,” according lớn Degen.
Your options are limited if you want this premium audio system. You will either need lớn purchase a Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, or a Grand Cherokee lớn experience the McIntosh sound. If you opt for one of these SUVs, you will get 19 speakers powered by 950 watts of amplification.
It costs $1,495 lớn add the McIntosh sound system lớn a Jeep Grand Cherokee L.
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