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Audiofrog’s Immersive Multiseat Car Stereo: T.H.E. Show 2023

Audiofrog pulled up at T.H.E. Show 2023 in a tricked out Volvo C30 and blew our socks off with their immersive car audio system.

Audiofrog logo

The convergence of high-end audio and the luxury car market has become a huge business in 2023; consumers can find some of the best systems currently available in Maserati SUVs, Jeep Grand Wagoneers, BMW EVs, and Aston Martin roadsters designed for 007.

It is an important development because it will expose our little corner of the consumer A/V world to a lot of potential customers who may not have any experience with Bowers & Wilkins, McIntosh, Bang & Olufsen, Sonus faber, or the Harman Luxury Group.

As great as that is — and our personal driving experience with the Maserati Grecale Trofeo and Jeep Grand Wagoneer convinced us of the value of such systems, those cars and systems are out of reach of the vast majority of drivers.

Affluent consumers can and should enjoy those cars and hopefully with those high-end systems.

But what about the rest of us?

I had a unique experience at T.H.E. Show 2023 that made me hopeful that the rest of us can enjoy that as well.

Timing is everything and I happened to be outside helping to place a Lamborghini Huracan Twin Turbo that was part of the show when a seemingly ordinary Volvo C30 hatchback pulled up.

Little did I know that this Volvo was a rolling test bed for one of the best aftermarket car stereo systems I have ever heard.

We’ll get to the Lamborghini in a forthcoming piece, but it felt more appropriate to spend more time with this affordable system that will have more appeal to a much wider range of consumers; Andy from Audiofrog was very gracious with his time on Sunday and I am forever grateful.

There were more than a few exotic sports cars at T.H.E. Show including a Lotus Exige S and Evora S which certainly attracted some attention. One young show attendee remarked to me whilst walking past the Volvo that his truck had a superior stereo system — he would be mistaken.

The Volvo C30 is a rather unassuming crossover and that’s part of the charm with the Audiofrog system; you really don’t expect this car to be the setting for a high-end immersive concert.

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Volvo in-dash entertainment system at T.H.E. Show 2023

Andy delivered his pitch and let me listen to a series of Donald Fagen tracks as an appetizer.

Audiofrog offers amplifiers and speakers and and is currently working on some digital signal processing products  for their systems. During the course of Andy’s pitch and the demonstration, we discussed the current high-end audio trend in luxury cars and why it was only a positive first step in Andy’s opinion. 

Streaming product and services are usually contained in the head unit and we won’t be introducing any head units. The real magic of the system in the Volvo is our prototype upmixing software.

It was his assessment that whilst the relationship between high-end brands and car manufacturers was important, it’s clear to a lot of professional car audio people that there was a fight underway between the audio companies and car designers when it comes to placement within the cabin and how that is impacting the overall system performance. The car designers and engineers seem to be winning that battle right now.

Another part of Audiofrog’s business is teaching installers how to properly design and install systems within the interior architecture of the car frame and cabin; something that Andy feels is not a strength right now of specific car brands and a result that is shortchanging the consumers who are buying these cars with very expensive audio systems.

Audiofrog subwoofers installed in Volvo trunk at T.H.E. Show 2023
Dual GB10D4 with five A150.4D amplifiers and two A600.1D subwoofer amplifiers.

In the case of the Volvo, a minimal loss of trunk space was the final result; note the placement of the dual GB10D4 subwoofers along with the seven class D power amplifiers. Five four-channel amplifiers provide power for the 16 high frequency speakers and two 600-watt mono amplifiers power the two subwoofers.

In the front of the cabin, the left and right main speakers are a 3-way setup with a two way center speaker; Side and rear speakers were also included.

The front end was a custom infotainment head unit designed to integrate with the Volvo’s HVAC and steering wheel controls  (Android OS) and playback unit that can be purchased from a Swedish Company called Bluepower.SE.

The screen could display the music being played, weather data, and other important car information.

Audiofrog car speaker system for Volvo at T.H.E. Show 2023

The Sound?

The $35,000 system did not sound like any car audio system that I’ve listened to in recent memory; there was a crispness to the delivery and detail within the insulated cabin that really made me feel that I was listening to a high-end pair of headphones. Andy estimates that about $20,000 of the system’s value is in custom installation designed to integrate the gear into the interior aesthetic of the car. That, of course, is optional and a more standard installation could be considerably less expensive. 

It was transparent, dynamic, quick, and highly immersive in such a small interior space. The low end response was resolute, tight, and very detailed; which I did not expect from this type of system.

Audiofrog is nearly done with a brand new digital signal processor which will make the upmixing software at the heart of this system available in the aftermarket and we hope to get another demonstration of this excellent system.

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Audiofrog can be reached here.

For more coverage of the T.H.E. Show 2023, click here.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. ORT

    June 15, 2023 at 12:35 am

    They all looked cool but I could not fit in any of the vehicles without looking even goofier than normal so I just looked and drooled. Far above my means but well within my desires.

    Car audio is coming around again.

    Thank you!

    El ORTO Verd

    • Ian White

      June 15, 2023 at 1:07 am

      ORT,

      What I think is crazier is how some of the partnerships are claiming “surround sound” in the vehicles but we’re discovering that they don’t offer it. Not Atmos. But it’s “Surround Sound!!!!”

      Not really.

      Ian

    • Lynn Miller

      June 15, 2023 at 6:17 pm

      Ort, it was nice to see you again, even if it was for the briefest of times (so much to listen to!!!). As for the Audiofrog system, to me the beauty lies in the totality with which Andy & company puts into the overall system. And the teaching he does makes for accommodating any vehicle a possibility.

      I could see myself tooling down the highway in a 1994 Honda minivan with the best most immersive (not surround, haha) system around. Therein to me lies the beauty of a system such as this.

      Cheers

  2. ORT

    June 15, 2023 at 3:21 am

    Ian, mayhap they should just call it what it is:

    “AroundSound®™© or “SurroundedSound®™©”? If they want to go for the Holier Rote path of frAudiophilians then they could call it…”pAtmos®™©” after the isle where the Apostle John is said to have written the Book of Revelation. He was surrounded by pretty much nothing and yet turned within and ultimately turned out a (at times skeery!) Novella of Hope for millions.

    I think what these folk present to the world to be a kinda-sorta “Multi-Channel Stereo” and there is nothing wrong nor shameful in that. I listen to “Multi-Channel Stereo” (five speakers and two subs!) all the time. It sounds just fine.

    And whilst “fine” will sell just fine, they may well come up with a name for their proferrings due the need to read as more even if it is “just fine”.

    ORTo’Phonics®™© sounds/reads ridiculous so at least that won’t be used, LOL! 😉 I dunno. Stereo is just fine for me in either my car or truck.

    ORT

  3. ORT

    June 16, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    Lynn it was great seeing you again too and yes, lotsto look at during the show! I do agree that “Immersive” does fit the bill when it comes to these systems!

    The show and the articles here have me thinking of upgrading the Media unit in my Mustang and for that I am grateful as car audio can be so good and it makes travelling by car/truck/van/motorcycle so much better!

    ORT

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