Car Toys confirmed it will start carrying the JBL (Harman) MS-8 new $800 sound system-in-a-box for the car, giving this “new category in car audio” (JBL’s terms) a broader retail presence.
The MS-8 that began shipping around June is also at Crutchfield and Amazon but is otherwise still a bit scarce at retail according to a Google search, although JBL says it is now upping production of the the unit.
The MS-8 is “seriously beating expectations and we have had to up production…All that hard work was well worth it,” claimed JBL’s Chris Dragon.
Crutchfield said it is “generally pleased” with sales of the device so far but noted the first sales may be atypical. “This product was talked about for 3-years so we’re not sure how much is pent up demand,” said senior director mobile merchandising Carl Mathews.
In the desert of innovation in the car electronics market, we find the MS-8 to be one of the more advanced products to hit store shelves so we’re putting a little focus on it here. (See video below). It works with existing car stereo components to improve sound so you don’t need to go the typical route of adding speakers and an outboard amplifier. At $800 it may be a hard pitch in this economy, but JBL says a high percentage of its buyers are BMW owners.
The MS-8 has a built in 20 x 8 amplifier, 31-band graphic eq, requires no separate volume knob and has a 5-line LCD display for set up and menus. It also converts 2-channel CDs, MP3 audio, etc. to 5.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound. It has an aux in so you can add a device such as an iPod and the MS-8 will run the audio from the iPod through its processing for improved audio.