Harman Kardon: Premium Surround Sound for the New Generation of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

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The "Harman Kardon(R) Discrete Logic 7(R) Sound System" offers faithful premium surround sound from 5.1 and stereo recordings in the new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, with the vario-roof up or down.

The new SL-Class offers a spacious and enveloping sound field for every passenger with superior dynamic range and the ability to deliver the subtle details of both normal stereo and modern 5.1 recordings, perfectly matching the premium character of luxury models

    Carefully chosen technical components in combination with innovative technologies and precise sound tuning by the Harman Kardon acoustics specialists deliver an authentic surround experience in the Mercedes-Benz high-end roadster. "The new SL-Class offers a spacious and enveloping sound field for every passenger with superior dynamic range and the ability to deliver the subtle details of both normal stereo and modern 5.1 recordings, perfectly matching the premium character of luxury models," emphasizes Stephanie Sauter, Harman Kardon Global Brand & Product Marketing Manager.

The unique, faithful sound reproduction is based on the Discrete Logic 7 technology. This technology was originally developed for professional sound studios and allows stereo and 5.1 surround recordings to reach their full potential in cars. All the surround information stored on the recording medium are read out and distributed to optimum effect over the respective channels of the sound system, exactly as intended in the original master. This means that the sound experience in every seat is the same as in the "sweet spot". The digital DTCP (Digital Transmission Content Protection) encryption technology also guarantees fully digital transmission of the audio information from the source to the amplifier. Whether from DVD-Audio, DVD-Video or CD: This means that loss in sound quality with stereo or high-resolution multi-channel sound recordings in the digital standards MLP, MLP 5.1, DTS(R) 5.1 and Dolby(R) Digital 5.1 are now a thing of the past.

In addition to signal processing and transmission, the applied sound transducers and their mechanical integration in the vehicle structure are crucial for an optimum sound quality. In line with the premium character of the new SL-Class, only tailor-made components were used from the outset, rather than conventional products. The special design of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class demanded a particularly complex audio system with 10 high-performance sound transducers. The three-way door modules house high- and mid-range speakers, as well as powerful 200 millimeter woofers. In addition to this, there are the center loudspeaker, the additional bass box at the passenger's feet, and the two 65 millimeter metal matrix surround loudspeakers behind the driver and passenger seats, ensuring consistently good surround quality, even when the vario-roof is down. A three-layer sandwich structure is used in the diaphragms of the high-quality metal matrix loudspeakers. Aluminum is used as the backing material, producing an excellent balance between rigidity and weight. With an output of 510 watts, the Harman Kardon audio system in the SL offers even more overall performance than its predecessor model: In addition to the main DSP amplifier with 350 watt output, the separate booster with 2 x 80 watts provides additional volume, underlining the dynamic character of the SL-Class.

Another very important feature of the premium roadster: Even when the folding hardtop is open, passengers can enjoy every musical detail thanks to faithful sound reproduction. As soon as the vario-roof is opened, the amplifier receives a signal from the central electronic system and optimizes the sound reproduction in line with the new audio environment, thus treating passengers to an impressive sound experience in every driving situation.

Harman Kardon, Inc., is a business unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (http://www.harman.com) (NYSE:HAR), which designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Harman International maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG(R), Audioaccess(R), Becker(R), BSS(R), Crown(R), dbx(R), DigiTech(R), DOD(R), Harman Kardon(R), Infinity(R), JBL(R), Lexicon(R), Mark Levinson(R), Revel(R), QNX(R), Soundcraft(R) and Studer(R). Harman International's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HAR."

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Stephanie Sauter
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