JBL ships MS-8 digital processor, promises to 'revolutionize' car audio

Remember that JBL MS-8 you plopped atop your must-have list back in March? No? Fret not, as quite a bit has happened in the meantime. Today, however, the aforesaid outfit is shipping its new in-car digital processor, which remains a bit of a mystery device that magically improves audio quality for up to four seating positions simultaneously. JBL assures us that the real secret sauce lies in the software, and with it, people will apparently "never experience music in their vehicle the same way again." This all sounds a bit Bose-ish to us, but at least we're told the specifications: the box includes an onboard 20W x 8 amplifier, eight-channel preamp-level and speaker-level inputs and outputs, and full-range stereo auxiliary input. The package also includes a wireless RF remote, LCD display (with a five-line, 128 x 64-pixel screen), Logic 7 technology and a graphic equalizer with 31 bands. The actual installation process also remains a mystery -- all we're told is that a pro could do it during the time it'd take you to have lunch, but given that this thing isn't wireless, you can bet that a good bit of splicing will be in order. Head on past the break for a look at what $799 nets you.%Gallery-95288%

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JBL® MS-8 Revolutionizes In-Car Sound Experience

New Integration Solution Engineers Superior Sonic Performance for Any System

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 correction automatically 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, 128x64-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.

About Harman

Harman International Industries, Incorporated (, designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Harman International maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG, Becker, BSS, Crown, dbx, DigiTech, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Revel, Soundcraft and Studer. Harman International's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the NYSE symbol "HAR."