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He said: '[Sony Music] gave me 45 minutes, which was great. It was a great interview, I was so happy with it. But at the end of the interview when I went to say goodbye, I went to stop the recording… I never pressed record on the whole interview.'
The system in the Jeep Grand Cherokee is called the MX950, owing to its 950 watts of output from 17 channels. It uses 19 McIntosh-designed speakers in 12 locations throughout in the cabin. Considering McIntosh amps powered Woodstock and the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound, the company definitely knows how to provide an immersive experience.
Some people will likely get into the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit, fire up the McIntosh MX950 and never really think about it as anything more than a means to listen to the radio. Others will find excuses to go on long drives to nowhere and crank up their favorite music to ear-bleeding levels, simply to revel in the richness. Which are you?
Experience is the keyword here, too. To get someone to pay as much as $10,000 on top of an already-expensive vehicle's asking price, an audio company must deliver something more than pleasant sound. The Fender audio system in a Volkswagen sounds good, but it doesn't offer you a unique experience. These high-end branded audio systems are trying to immerse you in your music, and speaking from experience -- as a bit of an in-home hi-fi nerd -- they largely succeed.
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"We understand that customers don't just want great sound," Charlie Randall, president of McIntosh Laboratory, said in a statement. "They want to get a full sensory experience. And that's why it was so important that we left no stone unturned to deliver a true McIntosh entertainment system for the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. We're thrilled to bring our brand to a whole new group of people who may never have experienced McIntosh before."
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Other brands, like UK firm Naim, have taken a similar approach to their design processes, but with some changes. The Naim systems for Bentley cars undergo a multistage design process. First, Naim takes the measurements of the cabin from Bentley and runs them through a proprietary algorithm to get a starting point for speaker placement and system design. Then it works with its sister company, French speaker manufacturer Focal, to spec the ideal drivers for each application -- a convertible will have different needs than an SUV, for example.
Announcer Byron Cooke added: 'I know of an audio producer on his first day on the job… his breakfast show interviewed the Rolling Stones in their hotel room. He realised when he gets back to station it hadn't recorded.'
When a company designs audio components meant for in-home use, things like size, weight and cost are generally less of a concern than outright performance, accuracy and aesthetics. In a high-end home audio setup, you can have amps that weigh 100 pounds per channel and speakers that weigh three times that amount. In a vehicle, where weight affects everything from overall performance to fuel economy, that won't fly, so the audio companies have to get creative.
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We've all been there! Fox FM announcer Byron Cooke wrote on Instagram: 'I know of an audio producer on his first day on the job… his breakfast show interviewed the Rolling Stones in their hotel room. He realised when he gets back to station it hadn't recorded'
'She had no humour in her voice at all': Jack was interviewing Amy for his new podcast series, but he made the rookie mistake of forgetting to press record. The musician was so shocked by the error that she initially thought Jack was trying to prank her
That last part about bringing customers into the fold is an interesting aspect of the branded audio trend, too. Getting someone who might not have previously been into home audio into a dealer to sit and listen to systems and spend all kinds of money is, understandably, a big lift. But getting someone interested in your brand's home audio offerings if they've already experienced it in their cars makes more sense. It's a conversion rate the companies can't really quantify, but they all seem to think it's a real thing.