A superior sound quality for a superior driving experience – that has been the driving force behind the 30-year-long collaboration between Mazda and Bose from the very start. One particular challenge on the road towards realising this ambition was Mazda’s most iconic model to date: the Mazda MX-5. Like no other Mazda model, this straightforward, sporty roadster embodies the joy of driving and the oneness between the car and driver – that very special Jinba Ittai feeling – that define Mazda as a brand. When it was first introduced in 1989, the MX-5 took the world by storm, and decades later, the fourth iteration of the racy convertible is as popular as ever.
From the get-go, Mazda engineers were bent on integrating the latest advanced technologies without sacrificing the sun-on-your-face, wind-in-your-hair fun of a simple sportscar. Sound design was no exception: By the time the third generation of the popular roadster hit the roads in 2005, providing great sound quality for convertible cars when the top is down had been a challenge for OEMs and sound designers the world over. The acoustic characteristics of the cabin change depending on the roof position, and with the top completely open, voices and instruments can get lost in the battle against wind and outside noises.
To avoid this problem, the Bose and Mazda sound engineering team came up with two innovative solutions. First, they implemented an EQ Equalizer switch to automatically adjust the sound setting when the top is down. Second, UltraNearfield speakers were embedded directly into the seat headrests. Using TrueSpace signal processing, the technology provides a clear, powerful and spacious surround sound, allowing for an immersive listening experience – even when the roof is open. Furthermore, Bose’s AudioPilot Noise Compensation technology was used to compensate for increased road or wind noises in different driving scenarios: The system continuously monitors the entire noise environment inside the cabin and automatically adjusts the audio playback to the changed circumstances. So drivers can focus their attention on the music and driving experience without the need to manually readjust. The MX-5 is built for the joy of driving – and the premium Bose sound system just adds to the fun.
With Sport, Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech 2021 Mazda MX-5s all featuring Bose audio as standard, over the last 12 months 92 per cent of MX-5s sold in the UK have Bose audio systems – a great statistic in the latest chapter of a collaboration that started 30 years ago. And with all 2021 Mazda MX-5s now featuring DAB radio, Bluetooth, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and wired connection for Android Auto, it’s never been easier to enjoy music in your MX-5.