It’s an argument that dates back to the introduction of the earliest in-car audio systems - who gets to pick the tunes? Particularly when you have a whole family on board, each member of which has different music tastes, ‘debates’ can quickly get heated.
There are moves to solve this age-old problem with technology, however. One solution comes from Samsung owned Harman (a different but related thing to Harman Kardon). Dubbed ‘Ready Together’, it works around an updated version of the brand’s ‘Personal Audio Headrest’.
This, Harman says, offers “advanced sound zone technology so that each occupant can enjoy their own media”. Headphones do that too, but the difference here is all occupants can still talk to each other. Handy for parents not wanting to miss out on kids’ in-car conversation classics like “are we there yet”.
The system includes the use of “noise management, microphone, and voice processing” to allow for “frustration-free conversations for all vehicle occupants”. Each passenger can also pick an “immersion level” between traditional two-channel stereo to full surround sound.
The headrest is described as being “modular,” with the aim of making it easier for major manufacturers to adapt devices to its seat designs. So, before too long, we should see this stuff starting to crop up on configurators. For now, the arguments will have to continue.