HARMAN chooses GRAS ¼” microphones for system engineering measurements

18th October 2023
Harry Fowle

In its continuing quest for unsurpassed in-vehicle audio quality, the Automotive Acoustic Systems Engineering department at HARMAN has chosen the GRAS 46BL-1 microphone set from GRAS Sound & Vibration for their new measurement arrays for calibrating their high-end vehicle sound systems.

A HARMAN automotive sound system has anywhere between 10 - 30 speakers. Each of them needs to be tuned separately by listening and measuring over and over to make sure the sound in the car is optimized and achieves targets for respective brands. Going forward, HARMAN will use GRAS 46BL-1 ¼” microphones arranged in a six-microphone array to cover the sound field of different head positions of the driver.

HARMAN chose the GRAS 46BL-1 as they realized it was the only microphone on the market that could match their demands for a low-noise floor.

“For us it is important to use microphones that meet our strict requirements. After all, this will be the equipment that lays the foundation for our work,” explains Greg Sikora, Acoustic Systems Senior Director, and head of HARMAN’s Automotive Acoustic Systems Engineering department.

“The only limitations should be the environmental noise floor, not the microphone noise floor. The GRAS ¼” microphone is basically plug-and-play, and it lets us retain backward compatibility of our current system while lowering the noise floor. It’s a perfect fit,” concludes Sikora.

GRAS 46BL-1 ¼” CCP Pressure Standard Microphone Set, High Sensitivity consists of a microphone cartridge and preamplifier combination, which is calibrated as one unit. Due to its small size, high sensitivity, and low noise floor, the 46BL-1 excels at in-cabin testing and measurement and fulfils the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES), recommendations for infotainment system evaluation. The 46BL-1 can be attached to the GRAS RA0399 holder, designed for holding ¼” measurement microphones in 6 predefined positions, simulating the head positions of a person in a car. The RA0399 array together with the GRAS 46BL-1 high-sensitive microphone sets fulfils the complete test demands in the 2023 AES white paper on In-car Acoustic Measurements.

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