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Ford and Sony Introduce Premium Home Audio Technology on 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum

  • Ford Explorer Platinum series introduces an industry-first audio experience with a 500-watt Sony® Audio System
  • System includes two industry-first features previously offered only in high-end home audio systems – Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies
  • Algorithm in Explorer Platinum audio system tuned to authentically reproduce the sound quality and signature ambience of concert halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 28, 2015 – Because every great adventure is made perfect by the ideal soundtrack, the new 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum edition features an exclusive Sony® Audio System with two industry-first technologies – Live Acoustics and Clear Phase.

As a standard feature on Platinum edition Ford Explorer, the audio system represents 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 Platinum.

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

To develop the proprietary Live Acoustics algorithm, Sony engineers, led by Goro Shiraishi, also a concertmaster with the Sony Philharmonic Orchestra, visited great halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna, and installed microphones to measure their precise acoustic qualities. Shiraishi-san wanted to re-create the concert hall experience for Sony’s high-end home audio products.

Sony engineers spent more than 100 hours tuning the audio system in the new Explorer, intent on providing 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 loss-less 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 driver and a 12-liter 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.

“This technology was previously available only in our high-end home audio systems,” Shiraishi-san said. “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.”

Every sound in its place: Clear Phase
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. 

The Premium Audio System from Sony

The Premium Audio System from Sony® with Clear Phase™ and Live Acoustics™ (PDF)



Core technologies

Clear Phase

For crystal-clear music as the artist intended

Live Acoustics

For a true concert hall experience

Key features

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’ experience working with Ford enabled Sony engineers to bring Clear Phase and Live Acoustics to the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum

System components

12 speakers in 10 locations

Two 1-inch dome tweeters

Two 6x9-inch door woofers

One 80-millimeter center speaker

Two coaxial (1-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer) speakers

Two 80-millimeter surround speakers

One subwoofer system (12-liter enclosure with 8-inch driver)


500-watt high-power amplifier with high-performance DSP

System attributes

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

New Explorer Platinum – the best of Explorer Sport and Limited
The high-end Sony Audio System is a perfect fit for the new Platinum edition, which takes the attributes of Explorer Sport and the 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 interior incorporates real aluminum and real ash wood multi-piece appliqués on door panels and instrument panel. A wood and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel showcases 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.

Explorer Platinum also gets smart 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.

Continuing the Explorer legacy
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 SUV for 25 years – marking a quarter century for the vehicle as a leader both in the segment and in its technology offerings.

Since the 2016 Ford Explorer reached showrooms earlier this year, robust sales indicate the nameplate remains one of the strongest in the SUV segment. Through June 2015, sales of Explorer base, XLT, Limited and Sport models were at 20,377 units – a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

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. 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected services.  Ford employs approximately 188,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

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