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  Date: 26th May 2011

Class D amplifiers preferred by premium audio system makers for Automotives

IHS iSuppli research has reported it sees a growing market segment in premium audio and more volume vehicles offer more options to buyers. Combine this with a decreasing cost of entry for suppliers for innovative technologies like Class D amplification, and it is likely to continue in developed markets, as well as developing markets, says IHS iSuppli.

The other observations reported by IHS iSuppli include:
Premium audio has been successful in the luxury segment since size, cost, and power are generally not a problem to overcome. Yet, in the emerging world of eco-friendly vehicles like advanced hybrids and the emergence of EVs, OEMs struggle to combine the technology and battery life. Traditional Class AB amplifiers have been known to steal significant power from the converters in the car, in some cases costing fuel efficiency.

Fortunately, the relatively new Class-D amplifier has grown significantly over a short period of time and has enabled the level of audio quality that is expected without incurring costs to battery life or MPG. A great example is the Bose Energy Efficient series that has now seen exposure in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the 2012 Fiat 500 - one vehicle being a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, the other being a simple ICE subcompact car.

Brand Recognition: Brand is a powerful component of the audio experience within a vehicle. In nearly every available premium audio solution on the market, an equally powerful brand is plastered to the head unit, speaker grille, or sometimes displayed in graphics on infotainment screens.

Some vehicles even offer multiple branded solutions. Audi has been offering optional Bose and Bang & Olufsen audio since it first hit the market in 2005 with the Audi A8. New for model year 2011/2012, the Chrysler 300 offers three optional audio options besides the standard non-branded system.


 
          
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