We all see the logos of different manufacturers of audio systems in our cars, for example, JBL if you have a Toyota, MarkLevinson if you drive a Lexus, or Bang & Olufsen so familiar to Audi owners. But do not rush to conclusions, because all the long roads eventually lead to a point called Samsung!
There is evidence for this. In 2017, Harman (one of the mastodons specializing in the production of automotive Hi-Fi radio electronics) was taken over by the South Korean giant Samsung.
So, Harman International Industries – a company that produces audio equipment (and not only for cars) and not just the Harman Kardon brand – became a subsidiary of Samsung.
And this means that Samsung has owned brands such as:
- Harman Kardon
- Mark Levinson Audio Systems
- Bang & Olufsen
That is, in fact, no matter what nameplate is applied to the end panel of the radio and speakers, Samsung Corporation will still be at the head of everything.
So, if you want a car with true Harman technologies, look for used cars produced more than five years ago. Before 2017, Harman really did everything.
But in the end, after the takeover of the American brand, Samsung legally secured a large piece of the car audio market. The presence of eight other major companies from around the world in the cage of the manufacturer from South Korea makes Samsung the most massive provider of audio components for cars.
How Many Independent Audio Component Manufacturers Are There on the Market?
What about other brands we see in cars? Are there other independent companies in the car music market? Yes, there are, but not so many known ones. In fact, only five.
For example, Bose, with which Mazda and Nissan work closely, is an independent company, having nothing to do with a Korean manufacturer – it is an American one.
The Alpine sound system is of Japanese origin. It is most often put on Jeep cars.
And Burmester, known for its sound systems in Mercedes and Porsche cars, is an independent German manufacturer.
Dynaudio, previously closely associated with Volvo and Bugatti, is a Danish and also independent manufacturer.
And now Volvo and BMW cars, in premium versions, are equipped with sound systems from the English company Bowers & Wilkins.
Hence, the conclusion: in eight cases out of thirteen, you are likely to stumble upon an audio system model that is somehow associated with Samsung.
Top 10 Cars with the Highest Quality Acoustics
Good acoustics are a decisive factor in a pleasant atmosphere in the cabin and driving pleasure. After evaluating the speakers’ sound from most Hi-Fi manufacturers, the experts from Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis used car dealership, named the TOP 10 brands that equip their cars with the best acoustics on the market.
The leader of the rating is the German Audi with Bang & Olufsen and its famous pop-up speakers. Such a system is most often available only as an option, but if you buy a used Audi, the chances are high to get great sound at an affordable price.
The second place goes to BMW and Bowers&Wilkins, whose sound quality, according to representatives of the Bavarian brand, creates a “presence effect” for listeners in a professional studio or at a concert. The third is the British alliance Jaguar & Land Rover, which equips its cars with acoustics from its native company Meridian.
The fourth and fifth places go to Lexus and Porsche, which are often chosen not because of their status and reliability, but because of their amazing acoustics – Mark & Levinson and Burmester.
Next in the TOP 10 are Seat (Beats Audio), Volvo (Bowers&Wilkins and Harman/Kardon), Mazda (Bose), KIA/Toyota (JBL), and Mercedes-Benz (Harman/Kardon and Bang&Olufsen).