Announcing a new audio system for Volvo | Society of Sound

Announcing a new audio system for Volvo

Bowers & Wilkins in car audio for Volvo

The all-new Volvo XC90 system will be the first Bowers & Wilkins car audio product to feature tweeter-on-top technology

Due to be unveiled later this year, the XC90 is Volvo Car’s all-new SUV, featuring what is being hailed as its “most luxurious interior ever.” The XC90 audio system – the latest in a line of successful in-car systems designed by Bowers & Wilkins – includes tried and tested technologies such as Kevlar drive units. But it also introduces something entirely new for a Bowers & Wilkins car system, in the form of tweeter-on-top design.

Tweeter-on-top is a special feature found in some of our most advanced Hi-Fi speakers, such as the PM1 and the flagship of the CM Series, the CM10. With these models, the tweeter is separated from the body of the speaker and placed on top of the cabinet in its own enclosure. Isolating the tweeter in this way protects it from cabinet radiance and reflection, resulting in a more nuanced, lifelike sound, with a better sense of the detail and “space” around the performance.

While the Hi-Fi benefits of this design are well known, up until now we had never produced a car system that featured tweeter-on-top technology.  The all-new Volvo XC90 system changes that. And the results are quite something, according to our Head of Engineering Stuart Nevill.

“Tweeter-on-top technology has a number of advantages in the automotive environment,” says Stuart. “Fundamentally it increases the ratio of direct to reflected sound, as more of the signal reaches the listener directly from the tweeter, rather than reflecting off the windscreen first. All of this means that the Bowers & Wilkins audio system in the XC90 sounds incredibly tangible and lifelike.”

The full system is comprised of a 12-channel Harman 1,400 watts Class D amplifier serving a total of 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers: four Nautilus tweeters in the front and rear doors, four Kevlar midrange speakers, four bass units, two 2-way surround speakers and one 2-way centre speaker (with tweeter on top). The speakers have been integrated into the cabin architecture and carefully tuned for optimum acoustics and the most immersive sound possible.



Add a comment

We welcome debate within Society of Sound, but please keep it friendly, respectful and relevant. We have a few house rules which we ask you to abide by to keep the debate intelligent. Read more.
Product enquiry or support issue? Please click here.

Related posts

Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus speaker detail

The story behind the finest speaker in the world.

Nautilus™ was born out of asking a few simple questions. What if we don’t follow market driven speaker design conventions? How … Read more

Bowers & Wilkins and Maserati Seven Notes World Tour

Maserati and Bowers & Wilkins go on a world tour

Seven Notes World Tour is a touring exhibition of sound, music and design that celebrates the arrival of the new Maserati Quattroporte … Read more

Bowers & Wilkins diamond

Why Bowers & Wilkins uses diamond dome tweeters

Why use diamond for tweeter domes? It may seem extravagant, but the move is simply an extension of Bowers & Wilkins’ pursuit of … Read more