Auralex Acoustics Turns Up The Volume At Seat’s R&D Center

INDIANAPOLIS, IN–SEAT, a leading car manufacturer based in Barcelona, Spain, revs up its audio acoustics program by creating a listening room at its R&D Center outfitted with Auralex Acoustics’ best-selling ELiTE Custom Fabric System.

The space serves as an additional tool for improving the acoustic quality in SEAT automobiles. It has been designed to perform analysis, subjective evaluation and jury-tests of acoustic signals previously recorded in vehicles, while also serving as a car audio lab.

To obtain accurate results, proper acoustics was essential. When Mas Acoustics, one of Auralex’s leading international distributors performed an acoustical consultation on the space, they knew that the ELiTE Custom Fabric System was the right choice for this project.

“CFS is the most accurate complete wall treatment system where performance and aesthetics are mandatory,” says Lluis Moreno, Mas Acoustics. “Neither the budget nor the room dimensions where large, but the results are excellent. Not just at the technical level, but at the aesthetic level as well.”

Auralex’s ELiTE Custom Fabric System (ELiTE-CFS) is a full-room treatment approach that blends an engineered acoustical environment with an elegant finished appearance. Auralex’s ELiTE Custom Fabric System is a proprietary, fully-engineered acoustical treatment system that utilizes a patented retention channel and custom installation process. The treatments include a combination of absorption, diffusion, reflection, and bass trapping, with all the acoustical materials hidden behind the system's smooth stretched-fabric surface.

As a proprietary and patented retention channel system, the ELiTE-CFS provides secure mounting, creating a clean finished edge. With hundreds of fabric styles and colors to choose from, the ELiTE-CFS allows for unlimited design possibilities, perfectly meeting any décor. The ELiTE-CFS also offers a Class A fire rating for piece of mind when setting up any space.

Due to the continuous reduction of noise and vibration of automobiles, the Acoustics Department of the SEAT Technical Center is dedicating a special interest in Acoustic Quality. Part of its initiatives includes binaural recordings of the sounds generated both inside and outside the car, using torso simulators. Those tests are not reserved solely for the engine, exhaust and road noise, but also include the sound of the doors shutting, aero acoustics, windshield wipers, warning signals, air conditioning, car audio and more.

Subjective evaluations of acoustic performance in cars are typically completed by drive tests, where several automobiles are checked or compared to their competitors. Several road blocks to this typical testing include short listening memory, added to the limited availability of cars – critical when testing prototypes or first production samples. Other factors to take into account are the lack of repetition of acoustic phenomena depending on the type of driving, pavements, weather conditions etc. The company’s newly constructed listening room offers an acoustical balance that helps then to make correct decisions by offering pristine sound quality and accuracy.

The continuously growing demand of car audio sound quality in vehicles requires more than just speaker characterization, but testing the whole vehicle: from system impulse/frequency response to vibration level and dynamic stiffness of door trims etc. “At SEAT, we needed a high quality sounding room that could serve as an audio quality reference tool - not just for the design of tailored equalization but also for subjective evaluations of car audio systems,” says Adrián Mateo Presser, the Audio Engineer at the SEAT Acoustics Department who lead the project. “Auralex Acoustics products provided the sound quality we were looking for, as its Custom Fabric system not only sounds but looks great.”