- Date: 2021 – 2022.
- Developed by Harman International.
- Customers: BMW, Audi, Daimler, Volvo, VW, Aston Martin, etc.
- Creators: a large team of engineers.
- Raúl’s contribution: director of engineering, amplifiers and speakers.
- Market: automotive / Tier 1 supplier.
- Product category: audio and other multimedia products.
Since 2021 Mr. Bartolomé is leading in Europe the engineering group of subject matter experts (SME) for amplifiers and speakers. He and his team lead the development of premium loudspeakers for many OEMs in Europe, such as BMW, Volvo, Daimler, Aston Martin and many others.
The development of loudspeakers, commonly called speakers, is a mix of acoustics and mechanics engineering that requires many years of expertise for mastering the acoustic performance and quality of the product. In car audio, a speaker is formed by an electromechanical transducer and an enclosure, but in some cases the speaker may include two transducers (tweeter and woofer). Typically, a modern premium vehicle has dozens of speakers distributed in the cabin, with a proper mix of tweeters, woofers, mid-woofers, woofers, and one or two subwoofers.
The physical principle of the speaker consists in a vibrating membrane to generate acoustic pressure following an electrical signal. The qualities of the speakers are the amount of acoustic pressure, the linearity along the audible frequency range, the total harmonic distortion, the dimensions of the enclosure, the tolerance to hazardous environments, among many other parameters.
The challenge in speaker development relies in a proper balance of the acoustic performance, minimize the space and weight requirements in the vehicle, the cost, the quality, the manufacturability, the time to market, coherence with the brand that the speakers represents and many other aspects.
Harman designs speakers for many brands, such as Harman / Kardon, JBL or Infinity, but also licenses and designs speakers for others iconic brands, such as Bowers & Wilkins or Bang & Olufsen.