In the old days, vehicles barely came with any sort of sound system – perhaps a radio and a couple of speakers, and that was about it. Times have certainly changed in that regard, and today, one can enjoy some seriously premium sound in all kinds of vehicles, even open-air off-roaders like the 2021 Ford Bronco. Recently Bronco Nation met up with the folks at Bang & Olufsen to discuss all the details surrounding the new SUV’s B&O sound system.
Harman International senior mechanical integration engineer Kyle Gutowski worked with Ford to develop the 10-speaker B&O sound system available in the 2021 Ford Bronco Outer Banks, Badlands, and Wildtrak trims. As he explains to professional car reviewer, audio expert, and Bronco owner Micah Muzio, the team was able to start fresh with a clean-sheet design and noted that the development process began far earlier than usual – way back in 2017.
The team had to take several unique factors into consideration when developing this sound system, including the fact that the Bronco has a removable top and doors, and will be subjected to off-road conditions, likely taking on water, mud, dust, and dirt. At the same time, speaker placement was also critical to delivering the right experience, so the speakers in the front footwell region are sealed for protection against the elements.
B&O and Ford spent considerable time ensuring that the Bronco’s B&O sound system delivered world-class sound while also being able to withstand water being sprayed at it with a hose, which is a unique challenge. However, Gutowski admitted that the biggest challenge he faced was finding the right spot for the subwoofer, which is in the cargo area, fighting for space with a number of other components. As one might imagine, making the system sound good while the top and/or doors are off was also a challenge, but the team was able to overcome all of them with some clever engineering, as we can see in this video.