Focal builds sound systems in models from DS, Peugeot, Alpine and Bentley. We visited the factory in Lyon and found out what it takes for good sound.
For most drivers, the right soundtrack, an exciting audio book, an entertaining podcast or your favorite radio station at the wheel are simply part of it. The quality of the playback has a major impact on the listening experience. We visited the hi-fi specialist Focal in France. Among other things, the company equips production models from DS and Peugeot with loudspeakers, subwoofers and amplifiers.
First, the French show us in a special screening room with a high-end system for a dizzying total price of around half a million euros how high-quality recordings can actually sound. The result: With closed eyes, individual band members can be located very precisely in the room - as if there were no speakers in front, but a live band. An experience that unfortunately cannot be reproduced with this intensity in the car. Guillaume Sirami is Automotive Business Manager at Focal and explains his preferred configuration using the example of a DS 9.,
"We installed the Focal Electra sound system here. In addition to highs, mids and basses, the surround sound in the car can also be defined. We have "We put a lot of effort into this and that's why the standard setting is actually perfect. It's really only worth adjusting if you have special personal preferences, such as stronger bass," says Sirami, who has been working at Focal for more than 14 years. He previously tuned sound systems at Peugeot. Similar to vehicle components such as the drive or chassis, sound engineers carry out acceptance and test drives to examine the sound of a sound system under various conditions - for example in city traffic or at 130 km/h on the motorway.
Simple Tips for Better Sound
Now if you're someone who values good sound in the car, there are a few simple tips that will bring better sound into the cockpit. If the car offers the possibility, it is always better, for example, to connect a smartphone via cable and not to stream via Bluetooth. You should also make sure that you save songs with high playback quality on your device with your preferred streaming provider. Spotify and Co. offer different gradations here, a download of high-quality files is then recommended because of the larger amount of data in the home WLAN network.,
Using the smartphone as a playback device still offers a pitfall. Smartphones often have an integrated equalizer that influences the output signal. It is worth doing a thorough search in the menus to see whether this is the case and how to deactivate the function. The probability that the settings coincidentally harmonize with those in the car is quite small. Guillaume Sirami explains in the podcast ams explains what else needs to be considered, for example removing loose objects vibrating around in the door compartments and the like.,
Good sound in the car is important for many drivers. Whether it's music, news, audio books or your favorite podcast. In this article and in the podcast "ams explains" you can find out how the sound quality can be easily improved and what you need to pay attention to.