Premium OEM Car Audio On Rise

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Premium OEM audio systems will grow at doubledigit rates in 2011 and beyond, thanks to the proliferation of quality sound systems in mid-range cars, IHS iSuppli said.

Global 2011 sales of premium audio systems will reach 7.9 million units, up 14 percent from 6.9 million units in 2010, 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 included.

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

Bose and Harman are the leading premium audio system suppliers, IHS said.

When it comes to trends, the research group said that 5.1 and 7.1 surround is growing in popularity, as are systems that synthesize surround sound from stereo. Class D amplifiers and portable music player interfaces are also growing in availability.

“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. An iPod interface is available in 91 percent of U.S. cars, the company added.

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


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