SUVs and MPVs are better suited when it comes to In Car Entertainment (ICE) installations, since it is more effective to work with enlarged cabins in order to attain optimal sound reproduction. Extracting essential sound will not really be a daunting task, when the vehicle in question is a Third Generation Honda Odyssey, owned by Isao Nomura, Pioneer’s Deputy General Manager for Business Planning & Marketing Division, Sales & Marketing Group.
As expected, Nomura-san’s Odyssey is fully decked out with Pioneer’s leading edge mobile media technology. Pioneer has always walked the innovative path, while keeping a keen eye on user friendliness – which is why it is still the undisputed leader in the 12-volt industry that boasts a top end mobile multimedia lineup.
Installed by Cartoon of New Generation, a leading local installer, Nomura-san’s Odyssey might appear plain on the outside, but it packs serious vocal punch when tasked to perform. Aesthetically speaking, similar sentiments can be expressed inside; an uncluttered setup allows ample room to sit five occupants in comfort – perfect for family outings without compromising on practicality.
Taking centre stage will be Pioneer’s newly launched AVH-X8550BT Headunit (more information in this issue’s ICE review) that offers unrivaled connectivity. It features application compatibility that links your iPhone or Android Smartphone with your vehicle’s stereo. Key features like “App Radio” is capable of running programs on the latest Apple iOS and Android operating systems too, so passengers can conveniently plug in their Smartphones and enjoy favourite hits on the go. Notably, a useful trick up this Headunit’s sleeve will be the MIXTRAX feature that extracts music from devices like your iPhone, iPod, USB or SD card and plays back with added transitions and effects to create a virtual DJ-like environment.
Although the Headunit can be capable of optimising sound quality, it still requires high performing speakers to achieve elevated levels of sound reproduction for improved soundscape. Situated at the door panels are Pioneer’s TS-A1605C 2-Way component systems. Light diaphragm fibres within the speakers are optimised to balance lightness and rigidity, so that the diaphragm achieves outstanding sound propagation with high sensitivity, speed and responsiveness. Its special heat resistance voice coil wire has excellent heat dissipation and durability too, in order to withstand high input power. These new speakers contain larger cones than OEM examples, but dimensions to the cut-out is similar – vital for users like Nomura-san who prefers minimal alteration to the vehicle’s cabin. As a result, occupants can enjoy deeper low-range sound reproduction and symphonic high frequencies from the 20mm tweeter installed on the A pillar, housed neatly in an aluminum tweeter pod. Rear speaker configuration is handled by Pioneer’s TS-A1675S, a 3-Way coaxial set that covers the rear field with the same material as the front speaker.
You might notice a larger-than-usual compartment flanked by the front seats. This houses Pioneer’s Champion series 10-inch sub-woofer. Labeled as TS-W260S4. This highly sought after sub features “Dual-Layer Elastic Polymer Surround” with “IMPP Composite Seamless Cone”, and its surface area is deliberately designed to be 14% larger than its predecessor, in order to achieve higher quality bass reproduction. This single voice coil can pump up to 350 watts of bass in 4 ohms impedance, more than sufficient for Nomura-san to enjoy his favourite hits, ranging from Japanese, Jazz, Pop and Musical genres.
The rear third retains an OEM appearance. Since the woofer is placed in the passenger compartment, there is more than adequate space for storage. Completing the setup will be powerhouses from Pioneer’s brand new GM-D amplifiers, featuring an ultra-compact chassis for maximum installation flexibility. It also encompasses Pioneer’s dedication to supply balanced audio inputs for improved sound quality and higher power output. Powering the front and rear speakers is the GM-D8604 amplifier, with 4 channels and 200 watts of highly reliable circuit design to prevent circuit shutdown. The new digital amplifier circuit “Protection Control System” is even smart enough to sense internal component temperatures and moderates input level accordingly. The amplifiers are neatly installed in the underside of the boot, protected by an acrylic cover on top. Distinctive, but definitely not over the top.
It will not be a long shot to comment that this system will be a hit in our local ICE market, since the price of the entire system can be considered reasonable for the amount of high end products on offer. So what’s next for Nomura-san? This Honda Oddessy has been with him for the past year, and judging from how well his decked out Pioneer set is performing, its safe to assume that he will be keeping his prized possession unmolested in years to come!