View of driver’s side seat in the front cabin of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS

Here’s Why ICE Vehicles Have Better “Acoustic Environments” Than EVs

Meridian Audio, the company that engineers sound systems for automakers such as Jaguar, Kia, and Land Rover, is developing new technology to tackle the sound issues that electric vehicles pose. According to a report from Autocar, their new developments could revolutionize in-car acoustics in EVs, which come with a different set of audio quality challenges than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts.

Automotives Create Rough Acoustic Environments

Many people love listening to music while riding in their car, but only some realize the challenges of creating a decent soundscape inside a vehicle. Due to all the moving parts that cars require to drive, vehicles are boisterous environments. That’s not to mention the sounds of the wind whooshing by and the noises a car generates as it speeds down the road.

One of the significant challenges that audio engineers face in designing acoustics for cars is that they have no control over a vehicle’s internal layout. How automakers position these various internal parts, as well as their size, significantly affect an audio system’s sound quality.

While electric drive trains are quieter than gas-powered ones, EVs present audio engineers with different challenges when it comes to creating a good soundscape. It’s due to EVs producing less predictable sounds in pitch and frequency than ICE vehicles, meaning that traditional active noise cancellation techniques are not a viable option for EVs.

The Intelli-Q System

Meridian Audio’s solution to these EV sound issues is the Intelli-Q System, a suite of custom digital signal processing (DSP) technologies their engineers have created to combat EV sounds.

As sounds occur, it takes data from the EV’s internal electric communications network. The Intelli-Q system can correct for disruptive audio factors such as how many windows are open, how many passengers are riding in the car, and climate control settings.

Additionally, the Intelli-Q system combats background noises by changing the mid and low-range sound in the car’s audio system to counter rougher road surface noises when drivers change speed instead of raising the audio system’s overall volume to combat background sounds.

Audio engineers do not have to worry about background noises in ICE vehicles as much because their engines create predictable sounds that they can cover with noise cancellation technology. Additionally, the consistency of ICE sounds can help mask car rattles and other distracting road sounds.

Audio Setups Also Affect Vehicle Efficiency

Beyond giving drivers and passengers a more pleasant driving experience, an audio system can significantly affect a vehicle’s overall efficiency. The more streamlined and efficient their hardware and software setups are, the less power they need to run, and the more a car can save energy.

So, audio setups like Meridian’s Intelli-Q system that can forego traditional noise cancellation techniques can make cars more efficient and improve the quality of their audio systems. 

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

Similar Posts