The state-of-the-art sound system will offer acoustic pleasure to those sitting in a Phantom, but first it had to be finely tuned via a rather eccentric playlist

The state-of-the-art sound system will offer acoustic pleasure to those sitting in a Phantom, but first, it had to be finely tuned via a rather eccentric playlist

Mercedes-Benz uses a Burmester-design audio system inside the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. BMW fitted the 7 Series with a Bowers & Wilkins setup, while Bentley partnered with Bang & Olufsen for the Continental GT and Naim Audio for the Mulsanne.

Rolls-Royce, however, unlike its “ordinary” counterparts and developed its own setup, dubbed Bespoke Audio. But then again, Rolls-Royce is not your ordinary carmaker.hich is something, which is something evoked by the playlist it used to test the audio system found inside the Phantom.

What makes Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Audio system so special?

The fact that it comes from Rolls-Royce is an answer that would normally suffice, but we’ll go into more detail. That’s why it’s important to understand what Rolls-Royce actually wanted from this particular audio setup, which is “to integrate studio quality into a motor car.” In other words, the carmaker wanted the best, cleanest sound quality there is.

So, in order to get that, it had to rethink not just the audio setup in itself, but also the Phantom’s entire cabin configuration.

Now, each of us knows how a recording studio works - having the best-available microphones and speakers isn’t going to cut it, as soundproofing and the room’s acoustics play an equally important role. Things get trickier in a car, for various reasons.

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Interior
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The most obvious one is exterior noise: that’s tire noise, wind noise at high speeds, engine noise from other cars, you get the picture. That’s why (among other reasons) Rolls-Royce opted for aluminum instead of steel for its Architecture of Luxury platform that underpins the Phantom. In fact, cutting noise down to a minimum was just as important as the car’s rigidity and structural resistance in the event of a crash.
Special tires were developed for the Phantom, which thanks to a foam layer the fills their rubber case are 9 dB less noisy than standard tires.

Moreover, the Phantom was fitted with 6-mm thick dampened glass and 130 kilograms (pounds) worth of sound-insulating material.

But nothing comes close to the intricacy of the Bespoke Audio setup.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom, as in the car itself, works like a giant subwoofer

Take a moment, collect your jaws, and stay with us. The Phantom’s sill sections are fitted with resonance chambers which have been tailored for perfect harmony with the frequency response of the audio setup.

Speaking of which, the Bespoke Audio setup features a power amplifier that controls 18 channels - one for each speaker - for a total output of 1,300 watts.

The speaker cones are made of a magnesium-ceramic compound while two active microphones mounted in the cabin help the amplifier with adjusting frequency ranges in such a way that it counteracts unwanted noise.

2016 Rolls-Royce Wraith "Inspired By Music" Interior
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Which brings us to the icing on the cake. After the entire setup was brought to final form, it was testing time. For that, Rolls-Royce gathered its audio experts and asked them to provide their favorite songs, which were then used to fine-tune the parameters of Bespoke Audio and add the finishing touches. The playlist includes the likes of Pink Floyd, Metallic, Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead, Nirvana, Faithless, AC/DC, and Giorgio Moroder. You can check out the full list below:

Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975)
Giorgio Moroder From Here to Eternity (1977)
Tracy Chapman Across the Lines (1988)
Metallica Sad But True (1991)
Terry Bozzio Bembe/Abakwa (1992)
Terry Bozzio Klangfarben Melodie (1992)
Rage Against the Machine Know Your Enemy (1992)
Rage Against the Machine Fistful of Steel (1992)
Gat Decor Passion (1992)
Nirvana Where Did You Sleep Last Night (1993)
Hugh Masekela Stimela (The Coal Train) (1994)
The Eagles Hotel California (1994)
Radiohead Paranoid Android (1997)
Del The Funky Homosapien Lyric Lickin (1997)
Faithless Insomnia (1995)
Counting Crows Raining in Baltimore (1998)
AC/DC Safe in New York City (2000)
Wookie, Wookie Scrappy (2000)
Matthew Johnson Marionette (2004)
Nemesea Intro (2012)
Nemesea Bass Solo (2012)
Nemesea Drum Solo (2012)

Further reading

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Rolls Royce Phantom.

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