$3,500 Porsche Design 911 Soundbar Sounds Ridiculous No Matter How Aurally Pleasing
If one of your DIY car enthusiast friends built a home or office audio system from the muffler and exhaust pipes of their favorite car as both an acoustic and visual part, you’d probably think it was a clever idea — something like using an engine block for the base of a glass coffee table, only more practical.
What, then, to think of the $3,500 Porsche Design 911 Soundbar Bluetooth loudspeaker that incorporates an actual titanium rear silencer and twin chromed exhaust tips from a Porsche 911 GT3 in its subwoofer?
My older brother says that his younger male sibling is too clever by half. I admit to having a fondness for clever things and, even more so, clever people. I plead guilty to a sense of wonder at human creativity. That’s probably a big reason I like cars.
I also think the exchange of goods and services for things of value — for lack of a better word, let’s call that capitalism — is pretty cool, particularly when clever. But all I can do is mock the 911 Soundbar, or more accurately, anyone who’d be silly enough to spend the price of a serviceable used car on a desk accessory that matches their driving accessory.
I say desk accessory and not audio component deliberately. More than a few of our readers are audio buffs, and many of you know how to read a spec sheet on audio equipment. Though Porsche Design touts its audio quality, the features and specifications sheet for the 911 Soundbar’s amplifier shows a single listing of 200 Watts with no sign whether that’s a peak or average power measurement. Your guess for frequency response and harmonic distortion levels of the speaker’s electronics is as good as mine, because those stats aren’t listed, nor are things like what kind of loudspeaker drivers it uses.
That lack of detail on the technical side of things says to me that the 911 Soundbar is more about reminding oneself and one’s guests that one has a Porsche in the garage than it is about good sound quality. It may sound okay, or even better than that, but audio quality is not what the 911 Soundbar is about.
Though the performance specifications listed are paltry, all the latest “connected” and DSP tech features are listed: 2.1 virtual surround and stereo sound, Bluetooth 3.0, aptX lossless audio transmission, bass and treble controls with a remote control, Dolby digital decoder, DTS TruSurround virtual surround signal processing, LipSync technology for synchronizing the audio to your TV set, analog audio inputs, coaxial and optical digital inputs, plus an LED display panel.
I don’t judge the looks of a car until I see it in person with my own eyes. I can’t say whether the 911 Soundbar sounds scintillating or if it will make your ears bleed until I get the chance to listen to one, something that’s not likely to happen. The only close friend I have who owns a 911 would more likely spend $3,500 on a pair of Magneplanar 1.7i loudspeakers, some decent electronics (with published technical specifications) to drive them, a bunch of CDs and LPs, and still have enough left over to buy some exhaust parts at the junkyard to use as wall art.
However, perusing eBay, I see that the 911 Soundbar is only a few hundred dollars more expensive than a GT3 rear muffler by itself. This new old stock OEM silencer has an asking price of $2,850. It doesn’t include the Soundbar’s snazzy OEM chrome exhaust tips, which must surely be more expensive than something similar you’d find at Pep Boys. At $3,500, then, the Porsche Design loudspeaker is probably not priced exorbitantly when you consider that it comes with at least $3,000 worth of 911 exhaust parts.
That still sounds ridiculous.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view over at Cars In Depth. – Thanks for reading – RJS
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.
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