Did you ever wish your AV receiver’s room optimization software was available for your vehicle? Every car is different, but almost all suffer from really poor acoustics—even luxury sedans with interiors that don’t sound like a jet engine running at idle. The new Dirac Unison vehicle sound optimization technology isn’t exclusive to vehicles—but its first deployment is. It’s being placed within the new Volvo XC90 and it aims to set the bar for automotive and high performance audio. Vehicle manufacturers looking to deliver a more convincing audio experience to their customers may want to check this out.
While Volvo Car Group is the first manufacturer to license Dirac Unison, we don’t doubt that other manufacturers will either follow suit or locate a competing technology to accomplish the same goal. In addition to Dirac Unison being perfect for vehicle sound optimization, the company touts it as a reasonable solution for high performance audio and home theater systems. For that they’ll have a lot of competition from the likes of Audyssey and proprietary systems like Yamaha’s YPAO and Pioneer’s MCACC. Dirac Unison claims, however, to go further than traditional digital room correction systems and even passive room treatments. The system is designed to “precisely unite” the output of the speakers.
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How Dirac Unison Vehicle Sound Optimization Technology Works
From what we can tell, the Dirac Unison vehicle sound optimization technology takes measurements and then adjusts each speaker channel to effectively create an active acoustic treatment for the listening space. For a car, where acoustical treatments are near impossible, this might not be a bad idea. The Dirac Unison technology optimizes the output of each loudspeaker, but it also performs bass management. The Dirac Unison vehicle sound optimization system treats both the loudspeakers and the listening space as a single entity, so that all of the acoustical issues are taken into account at the same time.
Another thing the Dirac Unison system does is take a cue from Yamaha, allowing the user to recreate acoustics from particular venues, like the Gothenburg Concert Hall (which happens to be located near Volvo’s headquarters). This is just a button press (and of course you can bypass the DSP if desired).
Volvo Car Group is the first official licensee to use Dirac Unison, and the system can be auditioned in the new Volvo XC90 (which features a Bowers & Wilkins audio system—not bad!) You may want to go and take a test drive. With systems like the Dirac Unison vehicle sound optimization technology, the effectiveness will definitely be tied to the amount of outside noise that can be tempered as well as the quality of components in the sound system itself. For that reason, look for this to stay mostly with luxury vehicles for the near future.
For more information, please see www.dirac.com