The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

You spend a lot of time in your car. While a raucous engine note is all well and good, sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy some music over the long haul. These are the best in-car sound systems you can buy.

Whether it's Madonna or Motorhead, we all have our favorite driving songs. In certain cars they sound like crap, but others are an orchestral experience. Jalopnik readers know the best sound systems to enjoy the Fugees or Total Eclipse Of The Heart or whatever.

10) Acura ELS

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Rumor has it that Acura's ELS system is one of the most capable in-car audio systems ever designed. It was designed by Elliot Scheiner, a Grammy award winning recording engineer and producer.

It has six independent channels of discrete audio, so there are dedicated channels of audio from nearly every corner of the car. I haven't heard it personally, but I imagine this makes for a pretty great listening experience.

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9) Viper Harman Kardon

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

The new SRT Viper is available with an 18 speaker Harman Kardon sound system. You better believe it's a powerful system, since you have to hear it over the simply demonic roar of that V10 up front.

Now, you're probably saying that you want to hear that V10. And you do. But on a long haul trip, like when we drove the Viper from North Carolina to Texas, a quality stereo came in handy to cover up that V10 drone at highway speeds.

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8) Audi B&O

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

In a lot of situations, the Bang and Olufsen experience is design first, sound second. Audi's B&O systems in the A6, A7, and A8 aren't the full fledged, cock of the wock, B&O system, but they are some of the best sounding stereos you can get in a luxury sedan today.

Complaints? Every B&O I've listened to in an Audi doesn't get loud enough. Maybe this is to protect the driver's very delicate ears. But if I want to blow my ears out to the Backstreet Boys, that's my prerogative.

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7) Maybach Bose

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

A Maybach is as big as a concert hall. That's why XX-cchannel-M says that hearing the Maybach Bose system is like having the Rolling Stones in your backseat, performing while you sip champagne.

Usually, Bose seems to be just a name, and a bass-heavy name at that. In this case though, Bose is quality. At least that's what I've heard, since I don't get chauffered to work in a Maybach every day.

Suggested By: X-cchannel-M

6) Mark Levinson Lexus

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Continuing the collaboration of car companies and amazing home audio systems, Mark Levinson and Lexus collaborated on some of the most celebrated in-car audio systems of recent memory.

Levinson systems are meant to sound like a concert hall, it's the philharmonic of sound systems.

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5) Lexus LF-A Yamaha

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

While Mark Levinson takes care of the music part of the experience, Yamaha has a huge part in the in-car acoustics of the LF-A.

In order to get that sweet, sweet, V10 sound in the cabin, Yamaha created a complicated ducting and acoustic system that naturally amplifies the sound and brings it into the cabin. This isn't simulated like the BMW M5. This is real. And it looks like it's amazing.

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4) Maserati Bowers and Wilkins

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Bowers and Wilkins makes some of the greatest in-home and headphone audio systems in the world. Maserati has one of the most orchestral exhaust notes ever.

Put them together, and you get a symphony of V8 grunt and screaming vocals.

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3) Porsche Burmester

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Porsche offers three tiers of audio excellence in the Panamera. The top rung is Burmester, and in the Panamera it's 16 speakers of audio delight.

This was my favorite car stereo that I've ever heard, until I heard number two.

Suggested By: Adam Spano

2) Aston Bang & Olufsen

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Audi's B&O system is pretty good. But Aston's is on a different level. The stereo in the V12 Vantage is unbelievably good. Crisp highs, solid mids, banging bass, the range of the stereo is from another world.

At cruising speeds, I found myself pumping the stereo even louder than the engine at times, and that engine is truly one of the all time greats.

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1) Bentley Naim

The Ten Most Unbelievable In-Car Audio Systems

Naim is a British maker of ultra high end audio systems. Bentley is a British maker of ultra high end luxury cars. The Bentley Mulsanne has a 20 speaker, 2,200 watt system which has to be simply unreal.

Even the lesser system in the Continental GT is one of the most incredible audio experiences I've ever had. Although I expect nothing less from a car that is basically a rolling living room.

Suggested By: In A Mini