mObridge announced what it called the first aftermarket coax preamp to work with the Mercedes-Benz MOST150 coaxial system.
The MOST150 coaxial network is an alternative to MOST over fiber and the newest generation of MOST networking technology. It’s now being used in Mercedes vehicles using the eXperience or MBUX system. This starts with 2019 model A class vehicles and it is rolling out to the full Mercedes line up, said mObridge.
The preamp allows a flat signal to be fed into a Digital Signal Processor. It is based on the company’s DA-G2 DSP platform.
“This is the worlds first solution for the MOST150 cPHY vehicles and the only way to upgrade these vehicles in a clean efficient manner given the complexity of these newer systems,” said Julian Merritt, CEO of mObridge. “The ongoing silicon shortages were going to affect the initial planned date of release of this product, but we were able to switch our build at the factory from an optical to coaxial build and take advantage of our spare chips to release this earlier than planned,” he added.
The shift by vehicle suppliers to coax from fiber is due to cost. It is not, however, a step down in audio performance, said mObridge, but the shift from a complete loop system to a point-to-point connection over coax.
“The audio and system itself is very similar to the optical system and, being digital audio, sounds fantastic with a completely flat signal being fed into our DSP,” said Merritt.
The system takes the factory MOST150 input for audio and control so that all factory controls are maintained, including fade, balance, telephone and navigation. This allows the stock feel of the car to be preserved. The DA-G2 MOST150 cPHY comes in three versions: Entry, Standard and Pro.
The Entry model provides stereo TOSLINK out and input gain adjustment through mObridge. The Standard model adds 10 analog output channels and a TOSLINK connection for improved surround sound capabilities along with basic channel mapping and summing. The flagship model DA-G2.Pro adds a full 1024 point DSP on all 12 channels (10 analog and 2 digital). The Pro model allows the user to configure time alignment, cross over link emulation, phase inversion, advanced filtering algorithms such as Butterworth, Bessel, Chebyshev and Linkwitz-Riley, and center channel upmixing.
The MOST150 cPHY preamps are shipping but in limited quantities due to the ongoing silicon shortages.
Pricing starts at $799 for the Entry model.