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Podcast: Do Speakers Still Need Wires? Car Hi-Fi & More

Are wireless loudspeakers, spatial audio and premium automotive hi-fi systems the keys to attracting a new generation of high-end audio customers?

eCoustics Editor in Chief Ian White and Editor at Large Chris Boylan discuss whether speakers really need wires any more, and whether the new wave of “Spatial Audio” is the next big thing or just another passing fad. Also, could the new trend of putting truly high end audio brands into cars help usher in the wide scale adoption of multi-channel music?

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Show Notes

Some of the companies and products mentioned in this podcast include:

Where to listen:

Watch the full episode on YouTube.


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  1. Asa

    February 13, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Enjoyed this podcast as a “car guy”. I can confirm that I listen to more audio/music in my car than anywhere else, the exception being during work hours where I often stream Ambient/Techno music in the background.

    My wife and I both have 2019 model vehicles, coincidentally.
    Hers: GLC 300, with a Burmester system. I found it a bit disappointing when driving it. No dynamics to it and a bit flat.

    Mine: I’m a wagon geek and have an VW Alltrack (heavily modified) that includes a factory Fender audio system. It sounds good and has an effective EQ to sort out some of the heavy bass (sub in spare tire hold). I also found that I don’t use the built-in apps, but stream things via Tidal/BT from my phone – just easier to use/manage.

    I agree, it’s a great place for manufacturers to gain customers for their home products, but it’s also a challenge to design systems that take advantage of odd acoustical “features” in moving spaces that have people potentially blocking sound being close to speakers. Now in flyover country, I see a ton of these $80-120K+ trucks + more exotics, which are more common here (I live close to a ski town).

    Amazing how many high-end audio companies have partnered with auto manufacturers including some not mentioned in your podcast – Krell (Acura), Lexicon (Genesis), Meridian (Jag, Rover and McLaren), Naim (Bentley), and Mark Levinson (Lexus) are a few others.

    This wired/wireless conversation also reminds me of the digital vs print debate. “Print is dead” never quite happened, and like vinyl, is making a resurgence along with some cool new printing hardware, not even considering the 3D space.

    Most of all, I’m just glad we have all these options as there are so many applications that can utilize each type well.

    • Ian White

      February 14, 2023 at 12:23 am


      Chris and I are both big car guys and have been fortunate to listen/drive a lot of new cars with these systems. Chris went to Italy for eCoustics to test drive the Grecale Trofeo with the Sonus faber system and I’ve taken the Grand Wagoneer, Audi RS8, Porsche Panamera, and some Lexus SUVs for a spin here in NJ.

      It’s becoming a huge market for high-end companies. If you search through the website, my report on the Grand Wagoneer from 2022 is worthwhile to read.

      Choice is great.


      Ian White

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