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JBL has unveiled a revolutionary supercomputer for car audio, the MS-8. The MS-8 requires no new speakers or subwoofers. It’s a digital processor that, following a set-up period using a binaural microphone, fine tunes your cars audio system to fit the size and speaker layout of your vehicle perfectly. It’s been in the works for years, coming with a 31-band equalizer and set of preamp controls to fine tune it to your liking. The system comes with the digital processor, a display, and remote. At what this thing costs, it hopefully does what its promises, but it’s certainly a very intriguing idea.

The MS-8 is available now for $799.


NORTHRIDGE, CA – Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), today announced the launch of the new JBL® MS-8 integration digital processor. Unless you’re driving a classic, your car probably came from the factory with speakers, a CD player and an amplifier. Improving the sound quality in the car is a confusing technical process of choosing components from a wall of speakers, radios and amplifiers. Then it would have to be installed in a cumbersome and invasive process. But JBL engineers have invented a simple solution to achieving a luxurious in-car audio experience: the brand-new MS-8.

Announcement Highlights/Key Facts:

The MS-8 frees you from buying components and getting them installed. It is designed to be added to your existing system to make what you already have sound great. At the heart of the MS-8 is a powerful digital signal processor that maximizes frequency response, bass performance, dynamics, clarity, detail and stereo imaging in your car from any combination of factory-installed or aftermarket components.

Hardcore car audio enthusiasts can change the sound to suit their preferences by using its display and wireless controller.

The MS-8 includes a simple, step-by-step, menu-driven calibration based on detailed input from an included binaural microphone headset. It optimizes up to eight input channels, producing a flat-response and full-bandwidth signal.

Premier sound-optimization technology such as digital sound processing (DSP) equalization and DSP time correctionautomatically improves tonal accuracy and compensates for the characteristics of the car’s existing speakers, electronics and cabin interior.

The resulting sound enters the listener’s ears simultaneously from all individual speakers within the car, improving clarity and stereo imaging. Anyone in the vehicle can have best-seat-in-the-house performance.

Product Features

Graphic equalizer with 31 bands can override automatic equalization to suit personal taste

Memory stores calibration settings for up to four seating positions

Digital crossover function allows precise, user-selectable crossover points and crossover slopes for up to eight separate outputs

Logic 7® technology creates the ideal 5.1- or 7.1-channel surround-sound experience from two-channel source material

Preamplifier controls manage system volume, subwoofer volume, left/right balance, front/rear fader and bass/mid/treble tone controls, and override DSP equalization, time correction and Logic 7 processing

Favorite settings store up to five custom settings for one-button recall

LCD display includes five-line, 128×64-pixel screen that displays setup menus and operation status

Wireless RF remote controls menu navigation, volume and mute function

Other features include onboard 20W x 8 amplifier, eight-channel preamp-level and speaker-level inputs and outputs, and full-range stereo auxiliary input


Christopher M. Dragon, director of consumer and field marketing, Harman Consumer, Inc.

“No one has ever invented an entirely new approach and product that transforms how consumers easily and non-invasively upgrade the music experience in their car. Literally, it is a box that encapsulates some of the most advanced technology in the world. And with it, people will never experience music in their vehicle the same way again.”

Gary Biggs, applications specialist, Harman Consumer, Inc

“If you want to try your hand at installation, the MS-8 will let you fine-tune and manipulate the sound to customize your very own in-car listening experience, unique to your personal taste and needs. With unrivaled, never-before-seen JBL technology, the MS-8 is redefining and reshaping the entire in-car sound customization experience.”

Pricing and Availability

The JBL MS-8 system integration digital processor’s selling price is $799 and available now.

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Chris Gullo