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Harman to provide audio system and docking navigation system for Mercedes-Benz GLA

11th September 2013 Print

HARMAN has announced that the new Mercedes-Benz GLA will be shipped with its latest Harman Kardon audio system and the new Becker MAP PILOT navigation system.

The audio system from Harman Kardon that is also featured in both the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class comes with twelve high-performance speakers that are precisely positioned for maximum sound quality. Each of the four doors has a 165 mm ALumaprene low/midrange woofer, while two 80 mm ALumaprene surround midrange speakers are located in the D-pillars. Furthermore, one 80 mm ALumaprene center midrange speaker is stationed in the front-panel and four dome tweeters have been integrated into the mirror sails and rear doors to ensure pristine reproduction of critical tones. The 168 mm, double voice-coil subwoofer in a closed box ensures rich base tones at all times. And the Harman Kardon 450 watt high-performance DSP amplifier with
Logic7 surround audio processing can be individually equalized via nine channels.

“Visitors to the IAA will see what a perfect fit Mercedes-Benz and Harman Kardon are,” noted Michael
Mauser, HARMAN’s President of the Lifestyle Division. “With the Harman Kardon premium audio system, Mercedes-Benz offers car buyers yet another reason to consider the new Mercedes GLA,” he added.

Membranes and magnet systems in ALumaprene loudspeakers differ from conventional devices through their greater dynamism. ALumaprene offers similarly excellent properties to speakers with woven aramide fiber diaphragms, but consists of a specially developed, new generation polymer. These extremely lightweight modules have excellent damping characteristics, reducing resonances to a minimum. This facilitates an unusually well-controlled frequency response, which can only be achieved with high-end sound transducers. This produces powerful bass sounds, natural mid tones and crystal-clear top notes.

Logic 7 multichannel surround sound technology has set a new standard for acoustic precision and authenticity, contributing to a completely new surround sound experience in automobiles. This unique technology delivers authentic, three-dimensional listening pleasure to all seats in every car. Logic 7 uses a sophisticated matrix and specially developed digital algorithms to transform normal two-channel stereo recordings into realistic, atmospheric multichannel surround sound. Instruments and voices are reproduced with an impressive sharpness, body and localizability, allowing even the finest details to be heard.

The new Becker MAP PILOT navigation system on the other hand gives drivers a feature-rich and upgradable navigation solution without compromising the convenience of a highly integrated in-dash OEM solution. Data for the system is contained in a compact, tethered navigation “brain,” which can be easily removed from its docking cradle to update map data or upload the latest applications and feature sets. The unit seamlessly connects to the vehicle’s onboard radio and fixed-screen electronics via a tailor-made cradle conveniently and discreetly located in the glove compartment.

“The Becker MAP PILOT underscores the leading-edge innovation that has resulted from our long association with Daimler AG,” said Sachin Lawande, HARMAN’s President of the Infotainment Division. “The system blends the flexibility of the latest generation of portable navigation devices with the convenience of in-dash display and accessible controls to offer a system that is both easy to use and easily upgradable in the field.”

The Becker MAP PILOT is operated by means of conveniently-placed controls positioned on the car’s multifunctional steering wheel, the turn/push control, and integrated voice commands. This approach provides maximum functionality while preventing the driver from being distracted. The navigation route is shown on the large-format central display and instrument cluster, and voice instructions are reproduced in the best possible sound quality from the car’s onboard speakers – a distinct advantage over conventional portable navigation systems.

The unique connectivity of the Becker MAP PILOT ensures perfect integration and networking with the car’s onboard electronics. The navigation unit can be removed from the vehicle in a single movement and be updated online anytime using the Becker MAP PILOT Webshop site ( which enables maps and software to be upgraded and personalized information such as points of interest (POIs) to be downloaded easily. HARMAN intends to continuously expand the range of new applications available in the Webshop to meet the growing expectations and personal needs of its customers.

For maximum security, the Becker MAP PILOT cannot be seen from outside the car and actually feels like a built-in navigation system when in use. A lock on the integrated cradle prevents the device from being removed without permission, and its location inside the glove compartment ensures that the unit remains securely anchored. The direct link to the Mercedes-Benz GLA base radio means the latest traffic warnings and other updates can be incorporated automatically in the route planning system by means of the Traffic Message Channel (TMC), and the guidance system automatically adapts itself to the current traffic situation.