Harman GreenEdge Sound Technology Bolsters New 2012 Prius v

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, May 21, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Twice the performance with half the energy consumption.

    [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Prius_v_-_News2.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - May 20, 2011

    The Harman GreenEdge Sound System is prominently featured in the 2012 Prius v coming to a dealership near you this fall.

    Harman is introducing its environmentally friendly and high-performance GreenEdge audio technology in the latest Toyota vehicles including the upcoming 2012 Prius v MPV. The new GreenEdge JBL audio systems in the 2012 Toyota Prius v delivers improved clarity, dynamic performance and with considerably lower power consumption – a dramatic advance in automotive audio system design.

    The GreenEdge enabled Harman audio systems provide benefits ranging from reduced system weight to reduced energy consumption. The system offers not only improved fuel efficiency or extended EV range but also higher Sound Pressure Levels and greater dynamic response at lower power output for superior in-car audio precision and finally enjoyment.

    GreenEdge technologies are engineered holistically to ensure that the speakers, amplifier, equalization and component placement work together as an efficient system.

    Three key elements comprise a GreenEdge system:
    • High-voltage amplification
    • High-efficiency loudspeakers
    • Advanced signal processing.
    In the upcoming Toyota Prius v, the new GreenEdge JBL system uses a high-voltage amplifier that reduces the energy dissipated as heat in the electrical components, enabling higher voltage to be supplied to the amplifier circuitry while reducing overall energy consumption. At maximum volume, power consumption is reduced by 50 percent!


    The system’s eight loudspeakers feature a new highly efficient design that produces greater output for a given amount of input power. In addition, specially designed speaker lenses improve the sound coverage area. Active equalization and a set of advanced signal processing tools refine the sound by continually monitoring speaker performance and optimizing the amplifier signal for each dedicated speaker.

    2012 Prius v w/ Harman GreenEdge Sound System Detail


    Just as CFL or LED bulbs provide equivalent lumens using lower wattage, a GreenEdge audio system produces higher output or Sound Pressure Levels, measured in decibels (dB), while consuming less power. This requires the use of an Equivalent Watts rating, based on the amplifier’s average efficiency factor – 5X for the new Prius v system. The resulting Equivalent Watts rating for this system is 600W (120 GreenEdge Watts x 5).

    This next-generation JBL audio system in the Prius v weighs one-third less than the current Prius system, and reduces power consumption by 50 percent at 98 dB Sound Pressure Levels, yet delivers life-like clarity, dynamic range and transient response. What’s more, the system actually reduces the electrical load on the Prius v drivetrain, helping to extend mileage capabilities. GreenEdge enabled JBL systems will be available on most Toyota vehicles as future models are launched.

    Real World Conclusions

    Having listened to the new Harman GreenEdge system, the old and poorly received JBL system from the second and third generation Prius can finally be put to bed as old talking points. The new technology and its output can finally be called worthy of a vehicle like the Prius v unlike the upgrade in previous Prius’ that were more of a wallet drainer than a high fidelity system as anyone with that upgrade already knows.
  2. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Great! Sounds like they're both using a more efficient amplifier class (the low hanging fruit of audio efficiency these days, really) AND more efficient speakers (which JBL is already noted for) to achieve this. Nice work.

    This "equivalent watts" thing is BS though.
    • Unlike light bulbs, amplifiers are already rated for power output rather than consumption. Though there are long-raging controversies about how to best measure it, but if the same technique is used 120W output is 120W output. Period.
    • So this 5x multiplier can't have anything to do with the amplifier; presumably it is based on the relative efficiency of the speakers? But relative to WHAT? Loudspeakers vary enormously in their efficiency; what's the baseline? To achieve the same SPL with 1/5 of the power, you need an efficiency improvement of about 7dB at a given amplifier power level. That's not necessarily hard to do if you're comparing with an inefficient acoustic suspension design (common in home loudspeakers). But car speakers already tend to be fairly efficient, and a 7dB improvement over that standard would be a stellar achievement indeed, even for JBL. Count me skeptical.
    So basically "equivalent watts" is completely meaningless unless they state the baseline that they're comparing against.

    It should also be noted that all else being equal, there's generally a tradeoff in speaker design between efficiency vs. linear frequency response and low distortion. That may not matter as much in a car and can be minimized with more sophisticated materials and design but is something the designers would have to deal with (and presumably the frequency response issue is the reason for this system's active equalization) if they're gunning for that much improvement in efficiency.
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Nice to see this.

    I play bass in my church band. My new amplifier is a Gallien-Krueger micro-bass. 500 watts, the size of a paperback book and 3 pounds. I can put it in the pocket of my bass case. It's replacing a 200W amp that weighed 24 pounds and was once considered a "lightweight" amp. ;)
  4. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Good question on the power rating. Is that Peak, Program, PMPO (complete BS), or RMS? RMS is the only decent measure worth comparing.
  5. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    My biggest concern about this system (other than fuzzy marketing claims) would be the replacement cost if it fails. As exemplified by the MFD problems in early Prius-IIs, Toyota is already notorious for leaving out-of-warranty owners stranded by insanely expensive electronics failures.
  6. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    True, if it's not RMS it's BS. And of course (last I checked - it HAS been awhile) car audio isn't regulated like home audio, in which the power has to be continuous RMS over a stated frequency range with a stated maximum amount of distortion.
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Good point about the distortion level. In Pro Audio they specify RMS @ 0.000x% THD (total harmonic distortion).

    Really, though... If it sounds good, it is good.

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