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