By tradition, let’s start with the definition of concepts. One of the most frequently asked questions in installation centers is how Hi-Fi equipment differs from Hi-End equipment? The overwhelming majority of car owners for some reason consider these concepts to be synonymous, although in reality they are seriously different.
The high-end music system in any car consists of three equally important components. The first is expensive professional equipment, the second is an individually designed installation of this equipment, and the third is the refinement of the interior of the car.
Unlike simpler systems, a high-end system is no longer just a set of devices for playing music. In any installation of the Hi-Fi or Hi-End class, an element of creativity and a unique technical concept are necessarily present. If the system of the middle class focuses on high-quality music playback, then in the upper class, installers care more about the listener’s perception of sound. That is why, along with the installation of an upscale music system, installers often also modify the interior of the car, trying to achieve maximum harmony between the music and the surroundings of the listener.
Although from a technical point of view, a high class differs from the average only by a more careful selection of components, their more “artistic” installation and fine tuning, many car audio connoisseurs believe that any system below Hi-Fi is no more than a palliative that cannot reproduce true sound quality. We will not dispute this opinion, but simply tell you more about the specifics of the high-end car audio system.
By tradition, let’s start with the definition of concepts. One of the most frequently asked questions in installation centers is how Hi-Fi equipment differs from Hi-End equipment? The overwhelming majority of car owners for some reason consider these concepts to be synonymous, although in reality they are seriously different. If we use the comparison, the Hi-Fi class system is like an extremely pedantic person, but capable of reducing the severity of their views for the sake of achieving a specific goal (for example, to create a special sound distortion). Hi-End is more like an implacable orthodox, who would never compromise and will fight to the last for the highest quality playback. In technical terms, the difference between Hi-Fi and Hi-End can be described as follows: the equipment of both classes transmits a sound signal more qualitatively than a mass one, but Hi-Fi, whose name translates as “High Fidelity”, is used to create a specific quality of the sound needed by a specific user, and the Hi-End technique simply reproduces the sound without the slightest distortion.
Automotive music equipment in most cases belongs to the class of Hi-Fi. This is not happening at all because there are no connoisseurs of the highest quality sound among motorists. The fact is that creating conditions suitable for high-quality music transfer in the car is incredibly difficult, and in some cars it is impossible at all due to the vibration of the body, engine noise and the mass of other additional sounds. Installing a Hi-End system in a car certainly means creating a car for participating in car audio competitions, huge expenses and many weeks of hard work.
The principles of installing High Fidelity hardware are much more democratic and cheaper. The main difference between the Hi-Fi systems and the mainstream systems is that even expensive middle-class music systems handle the audio signal, so to speak, not carefully enough. In them, coming out of a very good player, an ideally clean signal can “pick up” interference and distortion from any power line passing too close, poor quality connecting cable connectors or an unstable battery voltage (experts say that the quality of electricity is as important for sound as gasoline purity for the car). In Hi-Fi systems, attention is paid to each section of the audio path; thinking about the placement of the equipment in the machine, the installers take into account each wire, each terminal. An additional “music” battery, special wires and professional contactors are selected. This is followed by a test setup with measurements of the “purity” of the signal at all key points, for example, outputs from amplifiers, processors and crossovers. Then adjustments are made, and re-measurement occurs. When the installers finally achieve the required performance, all devices take their places. However, this installation does not end there. On the contrary, the most interesting begins – the setting.