Electric Porsche Taycan: Audio Upgrade

Electric Porsche Taycan explained

BACKSTORY

Electric Porsche Taycan explained

Let’s explain how we dramatically improved the audio in the latest Porsche Taycan. The Porsche Taycan is a supercar with blistering acceleration and top speed; all without burning a drop of petrol. This fully electric GT can hurl you from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds and on to 150mph+. When driven normally it boasts a range of around 250 miles… Plus, can charge to 80% in a little over 20 minutes.

 

This makes it really practical into the bargain; all this in leather-wrapped luxury. Of course, you know by now that there is a ‘but’ coming and in this case, it’s the audio performance. To describe the base audio as woeful is an understatement.

It is dull. Lacking in any stereo image that I can detect and so confused in the mid ranges, it renders vocals unintelligible. The owner of this Porscha was so disappointed when he collected his vehicle, he nearly rejected it. It was only the fact that a replacement was not available for 18 months, that he chose to keep his Taycan.

 

As with all audio upgrades my first approach is to have a discussion with the client to determine preferences and requirements. I know I can easily improve the sound but I always want to make sure I offer the best solution. Of course, any changes have to be completely sympathetic to the car; it is important that everything installs in the original locations and can be removed if the car is sold so that the upgrade can be used in the next car.

 

The driver of this one has a wide range of musical tastes but a leaning to modern dance and R&B. The equipment budget was to be around £4000.

Solution

Speaker Solution for the Defender

The Porsche Taycan audio locations follow a similar pattern to other Porsche models; a tweeter on the dash with a 3 inch and 8 inches in the front door.

 

The rear doors actually house the same three-way setup which is unusual, there is no sub. As you can see, the speakers are very basic paper and plastic construction and it became very apparent that there was minimal sound deadening in the doors.

 

This would explain why a lot of Taycan customers are complaining of poor sound and panel rattles from the door cards.

Power Solutions for the Taycan

Although I wanted a system that would perform to expectations, I had to keep one eye to power demands; I didn’t want to impact the range of the Porsche significantly. Also, I wanted to add as little weight as possible for similar reasons.

 

I knew I needed 8 speaker channels plus a subchannel as I wanted a fully active system that I could carefully set up and tune. With the above in mind, I opted for the magnificent Audison Forza 8.9Bit and JL Audio XD600.1 amplifiers. These are compact and efficient D class amplifiers that both pack tremendous power into a very small chassis.

 

Although the Taycan is fully electric for motive power it also contains a standard 12V system to power the accessories. It is important that this does not discharge as the car can not be started without it.

 

For that reason, I installed a split charge relay to isolate the amplifiers from the electrical system when not in use. This means there can be no drain on the 12Volt system when not being used.

Speaker solutions for the Porsche Taycan

To keep to budget I opted to use Hertz Mille Pro speakers all around. These are amazing performers for the price. Of course, I build custom mounting collars for all and make sure they are properly mounted.

 

Including, ensuring all moisture seals are maintained. Since there is nothing worse than a rattle, I made sure there was plenty of Dynamat sound deadening applied. The inner skin, door interior skin and the door panel itself were treated to make sure nothing could rattle, I then also applied a layer of Dynaliner foam sheet to create a thermal and acoustic barrier in the door.

 

Although not shown here, the door speakers had foam surrounds fitted to ensure acoustic coupling to the door panel grille. The rear doors were treated in the same way and I installed Hertz Mille Pro MPX165 coaxial speakers in place of the three separate speakers.

 

The reason I did this is that I did not want too much higher frequency being played from the back confusing the front image and using components would have been a waste of money.

Low Frequencies

The boot space in the Taycan is large but my client did not really want anything on show.

 

Fortunately, there is storage space below the boot floor. Although tight, I calculated I could get my amplifiers in with sufficient space for an eight-inch sub.

 

Since space was limited and I wanted the highest performance possible I opted for the incredible Hertz Mille Legend ML2000.3. I have used these before in my own car and know how much performance these compact woofers can deliver. They are also optimised for very small enclosures which are ideal for this application.

 

The final installation was extremely neat as you can see.

Tuning

After proper installation of everything, the most important stage of the job is the tuning.

 

I always try to opt for an active system wherever possible. This gives me the most control over every important aspect of the system. I can pick all the crossover points, relative levels, equalisation, time delays, and phase control. As a trained musician I have a very good ear for sound and put this to good use here. Initially, I used an RTA and test tones to determine any gross adjustments needed.

 

Doing this helps to speeds things up, as it allows a graphic display of the frequencies being played and corrections can be made. This is also the time to make the first rough time alignment adjustments by measuring the sound path lengths relative to the driver’s seat position. After this, I sit in the car and start to determine the fine adjustments needed to really dial in the sound.

CONCLUSION

What a difference

It’s very hard to quantifiably explain this process, but I use a set of music tracks that I know extremely well and gradually adjust the various parameters to close in on the best sound possible. I want to make sure that the image is squarely in front of the driver with all frequencies in phase. This gives a fully immersive experience with a sound stage right across the dashboard and when these tracks sound right, I know the system will play anything with power and authority. When it came to the final cost of this system, we were a little over budget but the results were astonishing. This Burmester upgrade option from Porsche is a little over £3000 and based on other cars with this upgrade my system was far superior.

 

The customer is certainly delighted and this matters the most.

 

If you’d like to know more about how we could improve the audio in your car, contact us. Or, give us a call on 01625 432707.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.