Better sound only with new speakers – EMPHASER’s systems for Mercedes convincing in test by German Car & HiFi magazine (05/2019)

Although actually dissatisfied with the sound, many Mercedes drivers are put off from replacing the factory speakers installed in their vehicle. Not without good reason: Mercedes OEM systems are constructed for a specific vehicle, for example having specially formed baskets or mounting brackets. Finding speakers that fit in the Mercedes is therefore not to be taken lightly. On top of that the factory systems are mostly installed in a complicated way so that till now replacement could only be achieved with a great deal of installation effort and experience.
These times are over as there are now several vehicle-specific speakers from car audio specialist EMPHASER which are perfectly tailored to Mercedes vehicles – not only in terms of their construction but also acoustically. German Car & HiFi magazine has subjected the newcomers to a thorough installation test in issue 05/2019. The question is: Can the sound in a Mercedes really be audibly improved simply by replacing the speakers?
To answer this question the testers removed the original factory system of a Mercedes E220 – a 2-way front component system, a coaxial system in the rear doors, and a subwoofer in the passenger footwell – and replaced it 1:1 with the equivalent components from the EMPHASER range. They installed the front component system EM-MBF1, the rear speaker EM-MBR1, and the 8″/20 cm subwoofer EM-MBSUBR.
The minimal installation effort was enough to enthuse the testers: „The installation of the door speakers is straightforward and easy enough for the interested layman. (…) The speakers can be installed entirely without any changes to the vehicle. The EMPHASER chassis fit perfectly into the original spaces, requiring very little time to install.“
As regards the construction details and high quality components of the new Mercedes speakers the trade journalists were full of praise for these too: „Both mid/woofers work with aluminum cones, with the tweeter of the front system naturally being a woven dome. A lot of effort has been put into the crossovers. Beside level adjustment of the tweeter they also offer a high pass for the system, which also works well with a factory radio.“
But what is the improvement in the sound performance like? The journalists were also agreed on this: „It is hard to believe what just replacing the speakers can do for the sound“ was their report after the listening tests. „First of all we were pleased by the voluminous and amazingly powerful bass, which fills the vehicle. It is not only really fat but also blends into the sound image.“
The testers were also of the opinion that the overall tuning has been very well done: „No interference, the sound is clear. The tonality gives little to complain about, and the resolution and fine dynamics also make a good impression.“
Better sound only with new speakers? At the end of the test the tech journalists answered this question with an emphatic ‚yes‘, awarding the EMPHASER systems the score 1.1 and the „price/performance: outstanding“ accolade. „For just 750 euros the speaker upgrade offers a distinct improvement in the sound“, says Car & HiFi. „You can go for this as it is. (…) If you want something more, or have something over in the budget later, then order the (DSP) power amp in addition – all of this can be easily done.“

Keywords:Emphaser, Mercedes, EM-MBF1, EM-MBSUBR, EM-MBR1, speaker, installation, compo, test, front, rear, door, coaxial, subwoofer, woofer, system, tweeter, Tieftöner, Bass, Car HiFi, car, vehicle