Bentley and Naim partner for 'world's best in-car sound system'

Bentley announces specifications for Naim audio system in Bentley models.

Bentley Brooklands
The Bentley Brooklands gets an 11-speaker Naim audio system. Bentley Motors

We have Lincoln and THX, Acura and ELS, Lexus and Mark Levinson, and now, Bentley and Naim. Even automakers in the stratosphere of luxury brands feel the need to partner with an established audio company. Naim, a name you probably haven't heard if you aren't a hard-core audiophile, is a British manufacturer of very high-end handmade stereo equipment. Bentley's press release claims this system is the "world's best", but we would like to be the judge of that. All we need is for Bentley to send us a car.

To design the systems, Naim ran acoustic tests of each Bentley model, coming up with unique speaker configurations for each. The Bentley Continental models get 15 speakers, while the Arnage, Azure, and Brooklands get 11 speakers each. That falls short of the 19 speakers in the Lexus LS 600h, if you want to compare numbers. The Naim speakers include 25mm tweeters, 80mm and 130mm mids, and 200mm twin subwoofers.

Naim amplifier
The Naim amplifier pumps out 1,100 watts. Bentley Motors

Although Lexus might use more speakers, Bentley gets honors for the most powerful amp built into a production car. The 1,100-watt Naim amp uses a six layer double-sided circuit board to allow for a compact design, necessary for any in-car components. Naim also claims a next-generation digital signal processor (DSP), whatever next generation might mean in this context. But some of its specifications are very interesting. The DSP adjusts the equalizer levels for each 1 kilometer per hour change in speed. And on the convertibles, it adjusts the equalizer depending on whether the top is down or up. Finally, you can choose from eight DSP modes, from the default "Audiophile" setting to one specifically designed for digital media, such as MP3s.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
15 crazy old phones from a Korean museum (pictures)
10 gloriously geeky highlights from 2014 (pictures)
2015.5 Volvo XC60: updated tech, understated design
Busted! CNET readers show us their broken devices (pictures)
Take a closer look at the BlackBerry Classic (pictures)