Audio Systems

Clarion Full Digital Sound: a Breakthrough in Car Audio

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Clarion, the global leader in car audio and multimedia, has revealed more details of its revolutionary Full Digital Sound in-car audio system as it goes on sale in the UK.

Previewed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show with a live in-car demonstration, the industry’s first in-car audio system to maintain a digital audio signal from the source to the speaker voice coils, results in the most faithful audio signal reproduction achievable, with near zero loss in quality and no added noise from conventional analogue connections.

Despite living in an age where the vast majority of music is digital, until this technology breakthrough, every car audio system – even those fitted as original equipment on the newest cars in our showrooms – still has to convert digital signals into an archaic analogue signal for amplification, simply because traditional loudspeakers are analogue devices.

Loudspeakers have been built much the same way for many decades and crucially, this digital-analogue conversion causes a significant loss of sound quality.

With Full Digital Sound, Clarion has banished this digital-to-analogue conversion and, in one stroke, enables in-car listeners to realise the full benefits offered by today’s high-resolution digital formats. The result is akin to a full surround sound experience but without the multitude of loudspeakers, processors and additional amplification required to achieve it.

The new Full Digital Sound system is extremely versatile, with connectivity options for a wide range of devices and, crucially, it is compatible with the majority of car audio head units in the dashboard, both factory installed or aftermarket.

Revolutionary in both approach and execution, Clarion’s new Full Digital Sound system has been developed to deliver unprecedented faithfulness in the reproduction of today’s high-resolution audio sources. Additional benefits include greater power efficiency and a dramatic reduction in components to achieve the same exceptional sound fidelity.

Graham Case, General Manager of Clarion (GB), headquartered in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, said: “The reception at Frankfurt, where the Clarion Full Digital Sound system was first demonstrated last September, was universally positive. It is the world’s first entirely digital high-resolution car audio system and is testimony to Clarion’s 75 years leadership in car audio.”

The new Full Digital Sound system is extremely versatile, with connectivity options for a wide range of devices and, crucially, it is compatible with the majority of car audio head units in the dashboard, both factory installed or aftermarket.

The plethora of system input options such as Digital Optical, Digital Coaxial, RCA, together with speaker level input, allows the Full Digital Sound system to work with analogue sources, along with the full digital playback achieved with direct connections to external digital audio devices and high-resolution compatible smartphones.

Significantly, the system requires fewer loudspeakers to achieve superior reproduction, and the system components are the same for any car fitment, comprising:

Z3: The hideaway central processor & commander with two digital tweeters
Z7: Two 170mm  (6.75”) six-layer voice coil digital speakers
Z25W: One 250mm (10”) six-layer voice coil digital subwoofer
Once installed, the system can be simply tuned by the user with a smartphone or tablet, running Clarion’s proprietary tuning app. This intuitive app provides Full Digital Sound System owners with the tools needed to fully customise their in-car audio experience or to let the system be optimally tuned for the characteristics of the specific listening environment.

This in-car sound system breakthrough will be on sale in the UK in May from a network of Clarion appointed specialist dealers, with recommended pricing of the components as follows:

Z3 Central processor & commander with two digital tweeters. £650 inc. VAT
Z7 2 off 170mm (6.75”) six-layer voice coil digital speakers. £450 inc. VAT
Z25W 250mm (10”) six-layer voice coil digital subwoofer. £400 inc.VAT

Courtesy of Clarion GB


This article is part of “The Feed”, a special AutoTech.Today section featuring automotive technology news directly from their sources.

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