Harman’s Hi-Fi Means More: ‘Pipe Down, I Want to Hear the Music!’

Having to shout above the sound of the car’s stereo could be a thing of the past with an infotainment system that turns its volume down when it hears a conversation.

Harman’s EV Plus+ Solutions technology debuted at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is said to be able to distinguish between the sound of human voices, music and background vehicle noise. Just as it hears and reacts to a new conversation, it will increase the infotainment’s volume when the talking has come to an end.

Naturally, one hopes there is a manual override for when the driver deliberately wants to drown out a particularly annoying conversation the passengers are having! The system is tailored towards the requirements of EVs boasting reduced weight, reduced complexity and reduced power consumption compared to a traditional system. It also features Harman’s Audio Marketplace, a cloud-based ecosystem claiming to allow users to add and update in-vehicle audio, entertainment and communication features on-demand via OTA updates.

For those soothing moments, the system also includes sounds from nature provided through a partnership with the National Park Foundation in the US. Using authentic recordings, Harman’s NatureScapes delivers immersive sound-scapes into the car from locations including Yosemite Falls and Mammoth Dome so occupants could be helped to relax despite of dense traffic or the monotony of a boring, uneventful drive.

Bill Wyman, vice-president of global marketing, lifestyle automotive at Harman, said: “We believe the next-generation of mobility should convert the time you spend in your car into time well spent – and electric vehicles are no exception. We’re enabling automakers to fulfill these needs for their customers, without compromises, for the very first time.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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