First European Cars to Offer THX Certified Car Audio System
Great music and a great car are, for many, critical ingredients for the ultimate driving experience. BMW is no exception. Now, the exceptional sound quality of BMW audio systems has been acknowledged by THX Ltd., the world’s leading developer of technologies and certification programs for the entertainment industry. By achieving THX certification on the BMW Z4’s premium sound system, BMW drivers and passengers are provided a car audio experience that rivals high-end home entertainment systems. This makes BMW the first European car manufacturer to offer a THX Certified Car Audio System. The THX Certified Car Audio System is available in the BMW Z4 Roadster and Z4 M Roadster, the BMW Z4 Coupe and Z4 M Coupe.
THX Certification for the top sound system in the BMW Z4
THX Ltd. was established in 1983 by filmmaker George Lucas to improve the way cinema audiences experience feature films. THX today continues this spirit of innovation at the box office and beyond. The company has taken its mix of technology and certification programs to emerging entertainment media, including home theatre systems, DVDs, video games and high performance car audio systems.
The THX Certified Car Audio system in the BMW Z4 is designed to deliver a music experience as the artist intended. So whether the focus is on classical music or pop, both the driver and passengers in a BMW Z4 will enjoy their favourite music programme - with a standard of intensity and brilliance traditionally offered by the most sophisticated home entertainment systems.
BMW develops sound systems for the top connoisseur of audio quality
BMW’s sound systems are configured and coordinated individually for each model within the BMW range. This ensures that each system meets all the demands made of each vehicle’s varying size and body contours. “One of the particular challenges is to develop optimum sound systems for a convertible required to offer the same listening experience with the roof both open and closed” says Edgar Kirk, Head of Development of Audio Systems of the BMW Group. BMW’s engineers offer a premium sound system, developed specifically for the BMW Z4 M Roadster and BMW Z4 Roadster to become BMW’s first THX Certified Audio System. The premium sound system will be tailored for the BMW Z4 Coupe.
THX engineers worked closely with BMW to analyze in detail the Z4’s cabin acoustics, speakers and other audio components in order to check whether they performed to THX specifications. THX rigorously tested the audio system under a variety of road and driving conditions. THX analyzed the system for dynamic range, frequency response, power output and distortion. The result is a THX Certified System that delivers a smooth, clean sound. BMW Carver technology, a digital ten-channel audio amplifier, and a digital sound processor all interact to ensure a supreme THX Certified sound experience.
The Z4 premium sound system offers the option to choose the experience of enjoying music either in an open-air stage or a concert hall setting. In order to offer the aficionado of roadster and coupé motoring not only a unique driving experience, but also an incomparable experience of sound, BMW has introduced Carver technology into this THX Certified system. “Thanks to Carver technology, a high sound pressure can be produced with a small speaker diameter” says Edgar Kirk. The limited package space available for large bass speakers in a two-seater can be used in the best possible way. Requiring a volume of only 10 liters per loudspeaker, the system is able to generate enormous sound pressure (output level) of more than 120 db. A digital 10-channel audio amplifier and sound processor, in turn, gives the sub-woofers an output of 100 Watts. Two woofers each developing 40 Watts are positioned at the front of the car, six midrange loudspeakers and tweeters are fitted in the doors and behind the seats, each driven by a 25 Watts terminal. The premium sound system develops a total power output of 430 Watts.
THX certification combined with BMW’s Carver technology, top-end amplifiers and the perfect configuration of sound sources within the car ensures a premium sound experience for both driver and passengers. “We are very happy that our work is honoured in this way,” declares Edgar Kirk.
The THX philosophy: Deliver entertainment experiences that are true to the artist’s vision
THX is one of the few entertainment companies in the world that works to optimize how music, films and other content is created in the studio, while also focusing on the consumers entertainment experience in the cinema, home and automobile. In order to achieve THX certification, car audio systems must be designed to meet THX’s rigorous standards for quality and performance. THX works with automakers to make sure speaker layout and positioning, and acoustic performance are optimal for distributing sound throughout the vehicle. “THX Certified Car Audio systems are best in class because they are designed to present music exactly like it was produced in the recording studio or concert hall” says Laurie Fincham, Chief Science Officer at THX Ltd.
Today, THX certification is applied to consumer environments including home entertainment systems, HiFi components, DVD productions, multi-media speakers and components, as well as PC and video games. Leading companies from around the globe look to THX to help them create products and build venues that deliver the highest quality entertainment experience. “By teaming with BMW to offer a THX Certified System in the BMW Z4, we are combining the strengths of two world’s premium brands to deliver an exceptional car audio experience,” adds Fincham.