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Sound investment

By Alex Inwood, 16 Apr 2014 News

Jaguar Meridian sound system

Jaguar sells you a $160,000 stereo, throws in the car for free

Ever wondered how much the stereo in your car is actually worth? $10? $2000? Well, if you own a Jaguar or Land Rover, it’s much more than that – $160,000 more.

JLR has revealed that to replicate its high-end Meridian signature sound system in your home, you’d have to fork out at least six figures. Ouch.

But select the system in your car – with 29 speakers, unique DSP (digital signal processing) technology and 1700 watts of power – and you only have to part with $7790.

Clearly the world of high-end car hi-fi is an expensive one, but seemingly with good reason.

Jaguar and Meridian take car audio so seriously that Meridian is involved with all new JLR models from conception.

Design sketches, early concepts and pre-production models are constantly shipped between the two brands, with JLR dedicating 15 engineers solely to audio.

Meridian has three full-time car techs that, since teaming up with JLR three years ago, have logged more than 10,000 hours of development.

The result is audio systems so complicated they can even detect what road surface the car is travelling on (tarmac, cement, dirt) and adjust the volume and frequencies accordingly.

But why all the fuss? Well, despite the fact that car occupants have fixed seats, providing top-end audio is challenging. Cars have lots of different surfaces for sound to bounce off, some don’t even have roofs and each occupant is closer to certain speakers than others.

Balancing out the acoustics to ensure every passenger enjoys crystal clear sound is an art, which is why brands like Meridian, Bang & Olufsen and Bose can charge through the nose.

Still, with JLR models boasting $160,000 worth of hi-fi jammed around the cabin, you’re really getting the car for free.