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Harman: Interview with Philipp Siebourg What does the perfect sound system look like?

Harman: Interview with Philipp Siebourg What does the perfect sound system look like?

What does the perfect sound system look like?

In addition to sound, the design of a sound system plays a crucial role. Interview with an audio design boss for cars.

BSound systems in the car do not get past Harman. The Samsung subsidiary includes Harman Kardon, JBL, Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen. They provide good sound on many models from Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ford, Kia, Lamborghini, Volvo and Co. In addition to the right sound, the design also plays an important role. At this year's iF Design Award in 2019, Harman was honored with his Huemen design team for work on the BMW X5 (Bowers & Wilkins), Bentley Continental GT (Bang & Olufsen), Lamborghini Urus (Bang & Olufsen) and Lexus LS (Mark Levinson). How To Cars talked to Philipp Siebourg, Director Design, Car Audio at Harman, about the perfect sound system and more.
How To Cars: In which car model have you had the most pleasure in the design of the audio system?

Philipp Siebourg, Director of Design, Car Audio at Harman.

Philipp Siebourg: Each of the customer projects develops a unique dynamic. We are particularly pleased with the Harman concepts for CES, as they give us the opportunity to realize our own ideas. We can look at the experience in the vehicle independently and holistically and thus combine all disciplines in the design. Since there are fewer restrictions, it gives us great pleasure to show what Harman is capable of.

The Lamborghini Urus won the iF Design Award 2019 with Bang & Olufsen, what was the biggest challenge for you in the luxury SUV?
An exciting challenge was the agreement with the Lamborghini Design Team. Because the project was to develop an independent identity, meet the high expectations and reach a clear differentiation to the other systems of Bang & Olufsen. On the other hand, the special requirements had to be agreed with the Danish team in the in-house production.

Which car model has presented her with the design of a sound system before the biggest challenge?
One of the biggest challenges is the future vehicle concepts because some of them no longer provide for fixed positions for people. So far, it was clear who sits in the vehicle where. In the future, rows of seats will be completely redesigned and more complex seating positions in the foreground. The flexible interior challenges us how the acoustic quality in all positions can be guaranteed for each passenger. The exciting question is where we will position the speakers in the future. The classic layout has served its purpose.

What would you most like to do in a car in a sound system when money would not matter?
I would like to focus on the passenger and take the decisions from him. I am thinking of fully integrated systems in which the audio brand comes into its own at specifically selected positions. Less is more and more! In most cases, reduced design is much more costly than opulently designed systems or stagings.

What does the perfect sound system look like for you?
For me, a sound system is perfect if I do not have to worry anymore, but the system adapts to the situation. Acoustics is much more than just entertainment, radio or music. Classic communication in the car, with friends and colleagues over the phone is just as important as Noise Cancellation or other technologies developed by Harman. This includes, for example, virtual venues, which makes it possible to simulate alternative spaces outside the vehicle.

What does the sound system of the future look like?
For me, a sound system of the future must be integrated, thoughtful, but also reduced. It has to adapt intuitively to the moment and the situation.

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