That a music product like a guitar or drum has it’s own sound is quite logical. But did you ever stop and wondered about how a product is perceived through sound alone? Imagine the creaking of a chair, does this chair look old and dusty in your mind or Swedish and slick? Or imagine the sound of a roaring engine. What kind of car do you perceive? Is it a tiny Mini Cooper that drives around or maybe a ferocious Ferrari? The sound a product makes helps us perceive a product in a certain way. Car companies have known this for ages and have entire sound engineer teams working on every beep, boop and tick.
And now they’ve decided to take it even a step further with the ‘Active Sound Design’. Or in other words, ‘a artificial sound that is being pumped through the car speakers.’ Every driver can now pretend to be in the fastest series while driving the more affordable sane option. In this video you can see how a normal everyday car can sound like a dragon on a rampage!
It certainly fits in this day and age where the user wants to be in control and customise everything as he or she sees fit. Is this just a fun gadget or is this something we can imagine happening to other everyday items as well? (A creaking Swedish chair anyone?) Does BMW betray its own sound engineers by bypassing their expertise and knowledge? Shouldn’t a product embrace and embolden it’s own unique sound to stand out or is it a welcome change in the customisability of pretty much everything? Certainly some food for thought at least.