Ford and Sony Bring Premium Home Audio Technology to 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum an Industry-First Innovation

  • Tomorrow, Ford is bringing the new Ford Explorer to Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station to demonstrate industry-exclusive audio technology coming to the iconic SUV
  • Ford Explorer Platinum’s premium Sony® audio system includes two industry-first features previously offered only in high-end home audio systems – Live Acousticsand Clear Phasetechnologies
  • The algorithm in Explorer Platinum’s audio system was tuned to authentically reproduce the sound quality and signature ambience of concert halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna
  • More than 7 million Explorers have been sold in the United States, which makes the vehicle America’s best-selling midsize SUV for 25 years

Ford Explorer Platinum's premium Sony(R) audio system includes two industry-first features previously offered only in high-end home audio systems - Live Acoustics(TM) and Clear Phase(TM) technologies (Photo: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--Because every great adventure is made perfect by the ideal soundtrack, the new Ford Explorer Platinum features an exclusive Sony® audio system with two industry-first technologies – Live Acousticsand Clear Phase.

As a standard feature for the new Ford Explorer Platinum edition, this marks the first time high-end Sony home audio technology has been used in a vehicle. Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies bring realistic concert-quality sound to the new Explorer.

“Explorer is about pushing boundaries,” says Matt Zuehlk, Ford Explorer brand manager, “and authentic high-end home theater sound isn’t just for the living room anymore. The new Platinum series gives customers everything – including a sound system that will knock your socks off.”

Introduced as a 1991 model, Ford Explorer debuted with generous interior space customers were looking for, and was engineered specifically for people seeking adventure for their families and a way to express their individuality.

Explorer has reigned as America’s top-selling midsize SUV for 25 consecutive years – marking a quarter century for the vehicle as a leader both in the segment and in its technology offerings.

Authentic concert hall sound: Live Acoustics engineering

There’s something magical about listening to music in an environment that’s been painstakingly designed to deliver perfect sound.

To develop the proprietary Live Acoustics algorithm, Sony engineers, led by Giro Shiraishi, also a concertmaster at the Sony Philharmonic Orchestra, visited great halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna, and installed microphones to measure their precise acoustic qualities. Shiraishi, who began taking violin lessons at age four and has been passionate about sound ever since, wanted to re-create the concert hall experience for Sony’s high-end home audio products.

“This technology was previously available only in our high-end home audio systems – we’ve now applied the algorithm of Live Acoustics to Ford Explorer Platinum’s audio system to transform the listening experience to be among the finest in the world,” says Shiraishi.

Sony engineers spent more than 100 hours tuning the audio system in the new Explorer with one goal in mind – to provide Platinum driver and passengers with the finest audio experience on the road.

At the core of the system are 12 high-power speakers in 10 carefully selected locations – plus an all-new Class D amplifier to deliver a lossless power source that drives speaker output without straining.

Combined, the 12 speakers are capable of a maximum 500 watts. The speakers are optimized for sensitivity – including the center and surround speakers, a subwoofer with an 8-inch enclosure for tight and full base tones, and door woofers and chrome tweeters with translucent grilles to preserve sound integrity and complement the upscale Platinum interior.

Even the system’s speaker coils are unique – square coils instead of the more traditional round ones – resulting in greater efficiency and heat dispersion.

Every sound in its place: Clear Phase technology

When music is recorded, is live or in a studio, the best sound engineers always take care to establish a full sound stage. In other words, they make sure each instrument occupies specific areas in the “space” in front of the listener.

In the context of a vehicle, imagine occupants are listening to a live concert with instruments strategically placed in distinctive and acoustically correct “zones” on the vehicle’s dashboard. Clear Phase technology optimizes the sound stage inside Explorer Platinum to make the music sound as though it’s coming from a stage larger than the vehicle itself. Every instrument is located in its proper place, and vocals are clarified instead of lost behind distorted sound.

The technology also eliminates sound dispersion, which allows music to be properly focused in specific areas of the sound stage. By flattening amplitude and correcting phase characteristics to attain linearity, music will open up for a crystal-clear listening experience.

Now, owners of the new Ford Explorer Platinum can get the Clear Phase and Live Acoustics experience previously reserved for customers of Sony’s high-end home audio system.

New Explorer Platinum the best of Sport and Limited editions

The high-end Sony audio system is a perfect fit for the new Platinum edition – which takes the attributes of both Sport and Limited series for the most refined and upscale offering in the Explorer lineup. Home audio sound quality meets material and craftsmanship standards that rival the most premium home furnishings.

The Explorer Platinum interior incorporates brushed aluminum and satin-finished ash wood in multi-piece appliqués on all door panels and instrument panel. The wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel includes unique stitching that matches the stitching used throughout the interior.

Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, armrests, quilted door bolsters and upper door trim. The instrument cluster features a large 10-inch digital display supported with analog displays.

“Bringing Explorer Platinum to market is a natural extension of the Explorer lineup, giving our customers even more of what they want,” says Zuehlk. “There’s a market for more upscale SUVs, as 90 percent of today’s Explorer Sport buyers purchase the most expensive package available. That’s a strong signal customers are ready for Platinum.”

Explorer Platinum also gets advanced technology features including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system and rain-sensing wipers as standard equipment.

For the exterior, signature lighting surrounds the LED headlamps, giving Explorer Platinum a continuous glow. Other standard features include a dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels with bright machine face and tarnished dark painted pockets.

Explorer sales are up 17 percent, with sales of 20,765 vehicles last month. This marks the best March sales for America’s top-selling midsize SUV since 2005.

Ford Explorer is built at Chicago Assembly Plant, as well as in Venezuela and Russia. It is sold in more than 100 markets across the globe. Ford expects to export 56,000 Explorers from the United States this year alone.

The new Explorer goes on sale this summer.

Sony premium audio system specifications

Clear Phase™ technology       For crystal-clear music as the artist intended
Live Acoustics™ technology       For a true concert-hall experience

Electronic control panel styled by Sony

      Chrome accents, “water droplet” buttons and silky black finish for elegance and ease of use
Dedicated sound tuning       15 years of experience working with Ford enabled Sony engineers to bring Clear Phase and Live Acoustics to the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum
12 speakers in 10 locations       Two 1-inch dome tweeters
Two 6x9-inch door woofers
One 80-mm center speaker
Two coaxial (1-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer) speakers
Two 80-mm surround speakers
      One subwoofer system (12-liter enclose with 8-inch driver)


      500-watt high-power amplifier with high-performance DSP
Domed tweeters       Translucent speaker grilles preserve sound integrity
Square coil wire speakers       Square coils for greater efficiency and heat dissipation
Subwoofer system (12-liter enclosure with 8-inch driver)       For tight, full bass and minimal vibration

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

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Ford Motor Company
Mark Schirmer
William A. Mattiace


Ford Motor Company
Mark Schirmer
William A. Mattiace