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  • Car Audio vs Home Audio

    Does any know if the design approach for car audio speakers is "significantly" different, in any sort of way, from the design approach of home audio speakers? I ask because it is hard to find parameters for car audio speakers which make design more ambiguous.

    I assume these may be some of the differences:

    1. Designed for a more humid and harsh environment?
    2. Designed for infinite baffle enclosures?

    Please let me know your thought. I would like to use drivers which I have more knowledge of and can utilize more appropriately, but I am hesitant to put "home audio" speakers into a car and have them corrode and suffer from other unknown conditions that "car audio" speakers may compensate for.

    Thanks,

    Tony

  • #2
    Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

    Originally posted by floppygoat View Post
    I assume these may be some of the differences:
    1. Designed for a more humid and harsh environment?
    +1.
    2. Designed for infinite baffle enclosures?
    +1, meaning high Q. The final difference is impedance, often 2 ohms, to compensate for the low voltage power supply.
    www.billfitzmaurice.com
    www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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    • #3
      Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

      in my experiences car audio drivers tend to be built a touch more rugged because of the environment. car drivers tend to be optimized for smaller enclosures to take advantage of the natural gains from being in a car.
      big difference between the two types i see anymore is power handling and excursion, that edge usually going to the car drivers, but there's nothing saying you can't use "home" drivers in a car per say.

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      • #4
        Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

        Originally posted by floppygoat View Post
        1. Designed for a more humid and harsh environment?
        2. Designed for infinite baffle enclosures?
        Both . . . and nobody, but nobody, cares about "imaging" or "localization" in a car. All reflections are "early", and cabin gain isn't just a "subwoofer" thing. The only "listening environment" in a house even remotely comparable to a car would be a (small) bathroom (except a car cabin is better damped). And because of the inherently high noise floor in a car nobody cares much about "dynamic range" in one either . . . as indicated by the overcompression in recordings of the kind of music typically listened to there.

        Different worlds . . .
        "It suggests that there is something that is happening in the real system that is not quite captured in the models."

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        • #5
          Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

          Car drivers tend to be optimized for smaller enclosures to take advantage of the natural gains from being in a car
          I have definitely noticed this when modeling car subs.

          big difference between the two types i see anymore is power handling and excursion, that edge usually going to the car drivers
          I believe this is a result of the SPL fad.

          If no other significant design conditions are accounted for, I may give it a try (utilizing home drivers). However, giving the nature of the car environment, choosing and building crossover points and roll-offs is a bit intimidating. I assume measurements would have to be taken within the chosen car and at expected locations for all drivers to accomplish any decent result. I believe this is the other critical area car design differs? At this point, I can't afford to go active.

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          • #6
            Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

            All reflections are "early", and cabin gain isn't just a "subwoofer" thing. The only "listening environment" in a house even remotely comparable to a car would be a (small) bathroom (except a car cabin is better damped). And because of the inherently high noise floor in a car nobody cares much about "dynamic range" in one either
            You beat me to the punch, as my previous reply indicates. These conditions are definitely a concern.

            and nobody cares
            I may have to disagree, as I care ;)

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            • #7
              Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

              Originally posted by floppygoat View Post
              I have definitely noticed this when modeling car subs.



              I believe this is a result of the SPL fad.

              If no other significant design conditions are accounted for, I may give it a try (utilizing home drivers). However, giving the nature of the car environment, choosing and building crossover points and roll-offs is a bit intimidating. I assume measurements would have to be taken within the chosen car and at expected locations for all drivers to accomplish any decent result. I believe this is the other critical area car design differs? At this point, I can't afford to go active.
              if i gather correctly you're contemplating full range?

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              • #8
                Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                Yes, just a simple mid and tweeter with passive network.

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                • #9
                  Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                  god's speed. i've never gotten it to work/sound right which is probably more due to placement issues than anything. most component sets i've cracked open (car audio) tend to be xo'd (by my very basic maths) somewhere around 1500hz, something to consider
                  when it comes to mids/highs in a car, outside of the very serious SQ setups, the typical "kill it with fire" method is applied.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                    Deward you are either crazy or just ignorant of what serious car audio people do and can do in a car.

                    2 ohm speakers were pretty popular 10-15 years a go in car audio, not so much these days.

                    You will find car sets that were OEMed by Vifa, Scan Speak (Revelators), and SB Acoustics to name a few...and are the same or very similar to their home audio part numbers.

                    Sub enclosures have gotten smaller because amp power has gotten so much cheaper...so efficiency has gone way down to make the enclosures smaller, not to mention the cars have gotten smaller.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                      Originally posted by Deward Hastings View Post
                      Both . . . and nobody, but nobody, cares about "imaging" or "localization" in a car. All reflections are "early", and cabin gain isn't just a "subwoofer" thing. The only "listening environment" in a house even remotely comparable to a car would be a (small) bathroom (except a car cabin is better damped). And because of the inherently high noise floor in a car nobody cares much about "dynamic range" in one either . . . as indicated by the overcompression in recordings of the kind of music typically listened to there.

                      Different worlds . . .
                      DEWARD is a fine name for a TROLL.
                      craigk

                      " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                      • #12
                        Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                        Originally posted by floppygoat View Post
                        I may have to disagree, as I care ;)
                        Really? For the front passenger or the back seat? 'cuz if you're driving you've got more important things to be paying attention to than the "imaging" of your music box (even if it was possible in a car environment). You know . . . the, um, "fly the f***ing airplane" thing . . .
                        "It suggests that there is something that is happening in the real system that is not quite captured in the models."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                          well there are plenty of us that care enough to design and build car audio with at least decent imaging and dynamics. Reward your statements are as over generalized as much as the stereotype of an audiophile.
                          Car components more often than not are marketing hype and a "cool look". Why? Because of the targeted demographic. Most are not anymore rugged than home audio save the extreme SPL type drivers that are being tasked to withstand a couple if thousand watts of power.

                          Imaging a car system is a challenge and can get quite extensive and expensive, but not impossible. It will also only apply to the front seat locations and is usually centered for the driver. One does not need to be so concentrated on their sound that they can not be a cautious and defensive driver. For me just the opposite is true. A poor sound is more of a distraction to me.
                          https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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                          • #14
                            Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                            I use these, installed in kick panel pods. Kenwood Excelon something-or-other deck, with an old-school Jensen KA5 amp. I use the crossovers on the amp to split high to low, and the passives that come with the components. A single 12" driver in a small sealed handles the low end, and real in-car response to below 30 Hz without any boost or bottom end EQ.

                            Imaging in a car very often suffers from door panel installations, as does time alignment. The kicks are about as far away as you can get, which really helps. Image is locked dead to the left center of the dash with a simple balance adjustment.

                            There are also advanced DSP units available that will time align and EQ everything, and they work superbly most of the time. Car audio is fun these days, but I choose to focus on other things these days.

                            Plus, when I want to - bass head satisfaction is a touch away, and there are several adjustments built into the Excelon that facilitate SQ at the source.
                            Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Car Audio vs Home Audio

                              And, the most serious car audio SQ guys get about the backseat is small speakers for passengers, usually everything is faded to the front.
                              Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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