Acura says that going forward, all of its new vehicles will feature in-vehicle audio systems branded by Bang & Olufsen, a HARMAN division of Samsung.
We have been tracking Acura’s ascension to the pinnacle of in-vehicle audio for years now. The biggest shift occurred when Acura adopted the ELS STUDIO 3D Audio developed in partnership with Panasonic. No system we have ever heard in an automobile was better than the award-winning double-digit speaker-equipped ELS STUDIO 3D systems we have experienced in multiple Acura vehicles. Now Acura plans to take its in-vehicle audio to yet another level.
Acura promising that all of its future vehicles will feature B&O-randed audio is an incredible statement, but we will take Acura at its word. We suppose it’s a good thing the brand never claimed that about its Panasonic partnership!
"As we take the Acura brand and our products to the next level, we want to make sure the audio experience also delivers on our concept of being a 'destination brand'," said Emile Korkor, Assistant Vice President, Acura National Sales. "This new collaboration with Bang & Olufsen will achieve exactly that, further exciting our clients as Acura enters the electrified era starting with ZDX."
Harman (owned by Samsung) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, and enterprise automation solutions, along with supporting the Internet of Things. Harman’s brands include AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Revel. You may recognize those brands as the list of the best premium audio systems in the world. The company says that more than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with its audio and connected car systems.
Bang & Olufsen is a global luxury lifestyle brand founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen. Their devotion and vision remain the foundation of the company.
Today, every Bang & Olufsen product is still characterized by a unique combination of beautiful sound, timeless design, and unrivaled craftsmanship.
Acura’s new collaboration with Bang & Olufsen should bring an elevated in-vehicle audio experience to the entire Acura lineup as new models are developed. The first vehicle to benefit front the new partnership will be the all-new 2024 Acura ZDX battery-electric vehicle.
"Acura and Bang & Olufsen are equally driven to deliver unparalleled performance and memorable experiences, and we're excited to kick off our new long-term partnership that will set a new precedent for in-vehicle audio and technology for years to come as we collaborate on future Acura products," said Tom Rivers, VP, Global Marketing at HARMAN. "The values and DNA of the legendary Bang & Olufsen brand are showcased in the incredible sound system HARMAN engineers have created for the new Acura ZDX, delivering the superior performance and quality fans of both brands have come to expect."
Watch Torque News for our honest assessment of how the new Bang & Olufsen stack up against the incredible ELS STUDIO 3D Audio systems we have been so impressed with during our recent testing.
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.
Image of in-car audio by Bang & Olufsen courtesy of Acura