In the last article, we explained the contradictions developers face in creating the perfect speaker while also describing the unique qualities of the Bewith’s flagship Confidence speaker. This time, we’ll delve deeper, describing a further contradiction that stands in the way of realizing perfect sound, and Bewith’s solution to this problem.
In the last article we talked about the commonalities between home audio and car audio. This time, we’ve decided to focus our attention on a problem that’s peculiar to car audio. The aim is the same for home audio and car audio but there’s one major disadvantage to car audio that isn’t found with home systems.
OVERCOMING CAR AUDIO’S MAJOR DISADVANTAGE
Before we get to the most difficult problem, let’s consider a smaller one. The trouble with car audio is that it’s impossible to maintain the perfect listening position where left and right speakers are equidistant.
If you’re listening to a recording that was made using two channels, one right and one left, on a speaker set-up with one left and one right speaker, you get a stereo effect. However, in order to get this effect, you have to be the exact same distance from each speaker. This is extremely difficult to achieve with car audio.
Modern hi-fi audio technology, however, has come up with a solution this problem. It is called digital sound tuning. One feature of digital sound tuning is something called “time alignment.” Time alignment means artificially creating the ideal listening position described previously, where the listener is equidistant from both speakers. This is done by adding delay to the sound coming out of the closer speaker. This delay allows the listener to hear the sound coming from both speakers at the same time.
There are other problems with car audio as well, such as the reflection of sound from glass and instrument panels, absorption of sound in the seats, and the fact that door speakers can’t be faced directly. All of these cause disturbances in frequency response.
However, digital sound tuning can deal with these problems to some extent. Modern hi-fi car audio simply couldn’t exist without the help of digital tuning.
SIEG IN-VEHICLE ACOUSTIC MEASUREMENT SYSTEM OFFERS UNIFORM SOUND AND HIGH SOUND QUALITY
Another problem that faces car audio is that, as is often said, car audio speakers are only semi-finished products. Home audio speakers are sold built into enclosures. The speaker includes the enclosure and its own features. But car audio speakers are sold as individual speaker units. A car audio speaker is not a finished speaker until it’s installed.
But here is the real issue at-hand. These two components, that digital sound tuning is absolutely essential and the speaker is not a finished product until it’s installed, bring about a further problem. There are variations in the characteristics of the sound and sound quality depending on how the speaker is installed and sound adjusted. Speaker installation and sound adjustment require experience and intuition. Even if you attach the same product in the same way, there can be a difference in the sound quality between installation by Shop A and Shop B, just as the same ingredients and dish can produce a different taste depending on the chef.
Bewith solved this problem by developing an in-vehicle acoustic measurement system for vendors to use called SIEG. It began to be seriously applied in 2004, two years after the release of the Confidence speaker.
SIEG can effectively analyze and verify whether car speakers are installed correctly, and whether the sound is adjusted properly. Bewith offers this device for vendors to use as well as instructions on how to interpret its measurement data. This eliminates the differences in shop installation and ensures the best quality sound.
One testament to the efficacy of this system is the fact that Bewith’s Confidence speakers are correctly calibrated from the very beginning. Its measurements created Confidence’s high quality sound and faithful reproduction. Vendors and end-users can also use its precise analysis and apply to their sound systems.
Bewith takes detailed measurements of all of its finished speakers and turns the minute differences in characteristics into data. Based on the results, it can put together the right balance between right and left and apply it to its speakers. It can furthermore publish this data to vendors, who can use it for digital sound tuning. That it has taken speaker sound quality this far is proof of SIEG’s efficacy.
HOW BEWITH BECAME A BIG NAME – AN OUTSTANDING SYSTEM FOR AN OUTSTANDING CAR
Confidence was originally released in 2002. In February, 2009, Bewith released a special version of the Confidence speaker. The diaphragm’s materials, material quality and composition were finely adjusted to create an ambitious work that greatly raised magnetic efficiency and the accuracy of the magnetic circuit. Named the Confidence Bianco Fuji, it was the company’s greatest achievement in speaker technology at the time.
The Confidence Bianco Fuji made a big splash in the automotive world the fall after it was released. It was a special feature on the limited edition Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 722S, which was limited to only 150 cars worldwide, including just two in Japan. The limited edition model used a full system built and managed by Bewith including installation and tuning.
Confidence was chosen because of its quality and accuracy, high performance, and the accuracy in sound quality achieved through its installation and verification program.
The Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren Roadster 722S made its debut supporting the Bewith booth at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. This helped to spread the name Bewith behind car audio enthusiasts and further into the general public. This gave Bewith a boost toward moving to the next step in the Confidence product line.
Next time, we’ll explain how Confidence is going to step up its game from now on and also dig even deeper into the subject of car audio.
(Translated by Greg Scott)