The Chrysler 300 SRT8 we tested recently had a lot of in-your-face power in the engine compartment, sure. What most reviews don’t mention is its powerful Harman Kardon-powered audio system.
Let’s get the numbers out of the way right up front: The 300 SRT8 has just about as many watts as it does combined horsepower and torque. Its 19 speakers pump out 900 watts of audio. If you’re the type who likes to sing in the car, I defy you to sing louder than these babies.
Thank the car’s 32-volt Tracking Power Supply 12-channel Class D amplifier for that power to be loud and, unlike many OEM systems, clear. The clarity of sound may be partially due to the amp’s and speakers’ “Green Edge” technology, which Chrysler says ” superior sound quality and high sound pressure level outputs with minimum energy consumption.
“GreenEdge amplifiers alone outperform traditional amplifier efficiency by up to 55 percent, representing a net efficiency of more than 90 percent in some cases,” Chrysler said in its initial release about the 300 SRT8. “The speakers are tuned for maximum efficiency and perfectly matched to the amplifier output.”
Believe it. This is the best-sounding audio system I’ve had my hands on this year, and that’s counting the Bose-branded system in our GMC Acadia Denali tester from a few weeks back. Among those 19 great-sounding speakers, according to Chrysler:
- Seven 3.5-inch Unity Coaxial mid-range speakers with seven integrated tweeters located in the front dash, rear doors and rear deck
- Two 6 x 9-inch subwoofers located in the front doors
- Two 6 x 9-inch subwoofers in the rear deck
- One 10-inch subwoofer in the rear deck
An added bonus is that the Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system was fairly capable at understanding my vocal commands to play a given artist or tune to a given radio station. The head unit was easy enough to control by hand that I frequently found myself going old-school and touching the twin knobs and the digital “buttons” on the eight-inch touchscreen, however. Maybe that’s just my preference from living with non-voice-controlled head units in all my personal vehicles to-date. Your preferences will surely vary.
No matter what your preferences, though, one thing’s for sure: As OEM sound systems go, you could certainly do a lot worse.
Disclosure: Chrysler provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.