Tom Honeyands, aka The Tech Chap, tells us why the music experience in the new Jaguar XE is so good, and predicts what’s next for car audio
Sponsored by Jaguar
MOJO: Why is your car such a good place to listen to music?
The Tech Chap: “Outside of lab conditions, your car is probably the best place for listening to music. Here you have a dedicated ‘room’ with no family, no pets and a small controlled environment with lots of fabric. It’s like your own little private audio space.
“As car manufacturers like Jaguar know the exact dimensions and set-up of their cars, it allows them and their audio partner Meridian™1 to tweak settings perfectly for this environment, whereas in our homes, audio equipment has to cope with variance like different ceiling heights and furniture arrangements. Your car is a controlled space. And, in cars like the new Jaguar XE, there’s also very little road and exterior noise because of its sound proofing.
“A good analogy is the rise of noise-cancelling Bluetooth® headphones, which gives you this isolating experience. The cabin of the Jaguar XE is basically that with up to full surround sound. And when you have passengers, others can enjoy it with you. Outside of lab conditions, it’s probably the best place you can get in terms of listening to music.”
MOJO: What gives the new Jaguar XE such an edge over other car audio?
The Tech Chap: “The new Jaguar XE’s Meridian™ Sound System1 stands out from a software and technology point of view because it specifically adjusts the sound for your cabin. It’s called Meridian Cabin Correction. This analyses the shape of the car, its acoustics and resonance, based on the textures and fabric surrounding you, then corrects the audio, removing unwanted noise interference.
“Meridian is also famous for an algorithm, Digital Signal Processing, that allows you to pump up your volume without a loss in quality. It’s tech that can maintain its clarity regardless of volume.
“And then there’s the Jaguar XE, which has the Touch Pro Duo1 infotainment system. This has one screen at the bottom where you can control the climate and also control your media, as well as the main 10-inch display. It means that everything you need is never far away.”
MOJO: What’s the future hold for automotive infotainment?
The Tech Chap: “Voice control will become much bigger for drivers. Within the next five years it will become the primary way of controlling your commands. Then there’s technology like aptX HD coming through, which generates much higher quality Bluetooth® streams with increased bitrates.
“The infotainment user experience (UX) will only continue to improve. Traditionally, a car’s UX has not been as good as your mobile’s, but that’s changing. Manufacturers like Jaguar already offer Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration, but there will be increased standardisation across the market. Increasingly, when you switch from phone to your car, the experience will be a seamless one.”