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For anyone that's an audiophile, the Polestar 2 is going to get an audio system that will be developed by Dirac Unison and Harman Kardon. It "resembles what glasses do to your eyes."

Volvo electrified performance brand Polestar will equip its first volume model with an integrated audio system developed by 2019 Automotive News EuropeRising Star Mathias Johansson’s company, Dirac, and Harman International.

By combining the Dirac Unison active acoustic treatment with a Harman Kardon audio system the Polestar 2 eliminates acoustical imperfections, the supplier said.

“It resembles what glasses do to your eyes,” Johansson, who is CEO and co-founder of Dirac, told me. “The goal is to get back to the sound experience that the artist and the producer originally intended.”

Along with Polestar and Volvo, Dirac has worked with BMW, Bentley and Rolls-Royce to help them push their audio systems to higher levels of performance and sophistication through digital optimization.

The goal being to make sure the sound is “as good as possible in that particular environment where you're listening,” Johansson said.

‘Sound identity’

He said a big challenge for Dirac is knowing -- or helping to define -- an automaker’s so-called “sound identity.”

“For example, you don’t want too much oomph in the base at Volvo because it doesn't have that kind of image and neither does Polestar,” he said.

Dirac General Manager of Automotive Audio Lars Carlsson explained why he believes sound identity is crucial at the industry’s top players.

“Safety is a commodity. Driving performance is a commodity to some people. The cars are quieter. They are good looking. So what can you do to make your car stand out? Great sound,” Carlsson told me.

Johansson said achieving this goal will become even more important as the industry moves to self-driving vehicles.

“When do you have time to listen to good music during your busy day?,” he asked. “It's when you're commuting. It’s when you are in the car.”
 

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For anyone that's an audiophile, the Polestar 2 is going to get an audio system that will be developed by Dirac Unison and Harman Kardon. It "resembles what glasses do to your eyes."
Well that's too bad. Perhaps they will come to their senses and integrate
Bowers & Wilkins for P3 :)
 

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In 2001 I spent hours comparing the Volvo audio system with the Lexus Mark Levinson system. At the time I could use CDs. Today everything is streaming and the source fidelity is crap. Regardless I came to realize that these car systems in no way are representative of the real equipment these audio companies make. The car environment is just a poor space. What they are really selling is the brand name. Heck, you can buy B&W speakers that cost as much as a Volvo. Rest assured that's not what's in a Volvo.
 

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Well @JRRF, you've arrived at a conclusion that a take-out does not match a restaurant dining experience ;)

This way or another, the car manufacturers and their audio domain partners should not stop to strive for the best possible sound to be achieved while driving, agree?
In case of any sound system (for the living room or car) same rule applies - spend the time and listen to it. If you don't like, don't buy it.

For me personally, B&W works perfectly (is good enough to focus on the music itself).
 

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Agreed. I guess I just focus less on it now. Just about every manufacturer has teamed with some audio name and all the systems sound miles better than old time car radios.

No matter what though, streaming music will never match the source quality of a CD.
 

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I think I've said it before, but I was shocked a couple of years ago when my 18 year old son didn't know what stereo sound was.
 
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CD was long ago bettered though - it's not been the gold standard for many, many years.



This just isn't true at all!
Do tell please.

I'm aware of higher quality source files than CD (e.g. FLAC), but they are extremely large file sizes. Streaming them from the cloud on anything other than a wired connection seems impractical,or at least very far off.
 

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There are a number of streaming options for hi-resolution audio.

Qobuz and Tidal probably have the most complete library.



There's also Amazon Music HD and Deezer HiFi.

They all work fine with a decent 4G connection. Remember we take video streaming for granted now, and even moderate quality video uses loads more bandwidth than even the best audio streams.

Most of the apps allow you to sync stuff to your device for future playback rather than forcing you to stream.
 

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There are a number of streaming options for hi-resolution audio.

Qobuz and Tidal probably have the most complete library.



There's also Amazon Music HD and Deezer HiFi.

They all work fine with a decent 4G connection. Remember we take video streaming for granted now, and even moderate quality video uses loads more bandwidth than even the best audio streams.

Most of the apps allow you to sync stuff to your device for future playback rather than forcing you to stream.
Interesting. Thanks. Here's an article I found that does some comparisons. I get the feeling that in a car environment (even an EV), the cost and data might not be worth it. Qobuz's library is still limited, but might be something worth streaming in HiRes to a home system.
 

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They don't. My youngest doesn't really know what a CD is. Everything comes from the cloud -- just as IT corps want it.
CD, that was a huge compromise on analogue systems, like vinyl records
Agreed. I guess I just focus less on it now. Just about every manufacturer has teamed with some audio name and all the systems sound miles better than old time car radios.

No matter what though, streaming music will never match the source quality of a CD.
CD, that was a huge compromise on analogue systems, like vinyl records.
 

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I get the feeling that in a car environment (even an EV), the cost and data might not be worth it.
Exactly, I honestly don't think anyone could, in a car, and in a proper double-blind test, tell the difference between Spotify etc., at 320kbps and a CD.

There are so many other factors involved.

I design and install high end commercial audio systems - been doing it for 28 years now - and my go-to test source is just my iPhone with the Apple Lightning to 3.5mm dongle and a carefully crafted Spotify playlist.
 

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CD, that was a huge compromise on analogue systems, like vinyl records


CD, that was a huge compromise on analogue systems, like vinyl records.
Originally it was a huge compromise (I was one of the hold outs). But CD got better as they went along. Still a different type of sound from CD, but I think better is a hard sell. My understanding is that even a master vinyl copy can't match the dynamic range of a CD for instance. Whereas the digital nature of any non-analog system creates harsh transitions. Although with enough bits/sec you can get beyond the ability of human hearing to pick it up.
 
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