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In-Car Premium Audio Rising: IHS

El Segundo, Calif. – Premium audio systems in cars are projected
to reach double-digit sales growth worldwide in 2011 and beyond, IHS iSuppli
said, thanks to the proliferation of quality sound systems in mid-range cars.

Global sales in 2011 of
premium audio systems will reach 7.9 million units, up 14 percent from 6.9
million units last year, and will hit 13.3 million units by 2015.

Premium audio systems
are defined by IHS as having any or all of the following: surround sound, eight
or more speakers and 400 watts or more. Branded systems are also included.

This year’s sales will
yield worldwide revenue of $7.3 billion for the market, the firm noted, which
is up 11 percent from $6.6 billion in 2010.

According to IHS, Bose
and Harman/Kardon are the leading premium audio system suppliers.

When it comes to trends,
the research group said that 5.1 and 7.1 surround formats are growing in
popularity, as are matrix systems that synthesize surround sound from stereo,
speaker count, class D amplifiers that fit with multichannel audio, and
portable music player interfaces.

“An auxiliary input is
the least expensive interface, with nearly all premium audio systems sold in
the United States currently including the feature,” IHS said, with an iPod
interface available in 91 percent of U.S. cars.

“The next two years will
see the growing dominance of two more interfaces — USB and SecureDigital,” IHS

The research firm’s
report is titled “Premium Audio: Music to Everyone’s Ears.”