Sala Car Audio SEAT

Talking about acoustic treatment isn’t limited to acoustic panels, bass traps, acoustic diffusers, acoustic doors, etc. Although acoustic comfort must always be a requirement, we’re involved with acoustic projects where results must revolve around offering precise reverberation time values, intelligibility or just the optimal acoustics for that specific type of activities.


And one of these special cases was SEAT’s Jury-Test room in Martorell, Barcelona.


Maybe it’s better to let you read it from SEAT’s Car-Audio Acoustics Manager, Adrián Mateo:


Basically, we thought about a simple yet effective audition room where analyses, subjective evaluations and Jury-Tests of acoustic signals previously recorded in vehicles could be carried out, and we could also  take on Car Audio Systems works and evaluations. The Acoustic and Electro-Acoustic projects were carried out by Mas Acoustics, and the results have been immediate and very satisfying.


The reasons that drove us to the construction of this type of room in a R&D facility dedicated to automobile development are many. Thanks to the continued reduction of noise levels and vibration in the development of their vehicles, these last few years the Acoustics Technical Department of SEAT is dedicating special interest to Acoustic Quality as an added value for their clients. This way, part of their activities contemplate binaural recording using simulators of all kinds of noises generated either inside or outside the vehicle: engine, scape tubes, doors closing, aeroacoustics, windshield wipers, warnings, honks, A/C system, car audio… the list is constantly growing. The audition of such an amount of acoustic signals must be done in a silent environment, and the constant use of headphones can have a considerable hearing fatigue effect – it’s advised to use speakers whenever a critical evaluation is not required.


In addition, the representation or analysis of sound via charts is not always efficient enough to express subjective sensations, and in many cases the results can only be interpreted by acoustics experts. For this reason, typically, the subjective evaluation of the acoustic performance of vehicles is carried out through drive tests, where different vehicles that mount different technical solutions are usually evaluated or comparisons are made with competing vehicles. As is well known, auditory memory is very reduced, and since the availability of vehicles is limited, which is critical if they are prototypes or first production samples, combining this availability with that of people further complicates evaluation and decision-making.


Other factors to consider are that repeated performance on some acoustics phenomena in vehicles depend on hardly controllable variables, like the type of driving, pavement, weather conditions, etc., and that not all the occupants of the vehicle perceive the same sound sensation.


On the other hand, the growing demand for sound quality required of car audio equipment requires development activities that also require having a laboratory where not only loudspeaker characterization tests can be carried out, but also tests on complete vehicles: from the measurement of the response to the impulse of the system to the measurement of vibrations and rigidity of door panels, equalization curves, etc. To face the development of premium and surround sound systems, specific multi-channel equipment is necessary. And of course it is necessary to have a reproduction equipment and an audio room of sufficient quality to be used as an auditory reference, not only for the design of equalization curves but also for subjective evaluation of car audio systems of own vehicles or of the competition.


To have all these needs covered, the Acoustics Department decided to install an Audition Room that could also be used as a Car Audio workshop.  Once the specifications were written and several offers were analyzed, they took no risks and trusted Mas Acoustics with the project in hand as well as the Technical Assistance Service because of their experience in design and execution of similar projects and because they are also distributors of renowned acoustic and electroacoustic brands.


The SEAT Technical Center is already reaping the benefits: saving time in analysis and evaluation of modifications, project status and Bench-Marking, saving time and costs by eliminating drive tests and saving time in prediction and verification of modifications. And in fact, the new SEAT Ibiza has been the first to benefit, since the quality of its acoustics and its sound system has increased compared to previous versions and its competitors.

“... Even if it was done without an elevated budget or a large room, the result has been excellent not only at a technical level but also in terms of aesthetics, an important aspect that provides a pleasant environment for work and necessary to concentrate on the auditions..."
Adrián Mateo
(SEAT Technical Center)

Since 2005

Acoustic Specialists

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