Manufacturers go to great lengths to make car doors sound satisfying
Have you ever thought your car door sounds incredibly satisfying when it closes? Well, that’s no mere coincidence. In fact, automakers go to great lengths into ingraining a false feeling of quality through subliminal reinforcement using the sounds of your car door closing shut.
The sound of a car door is much more important than you think, potentially even more important than the sound of the engine, the exhaust or how it feels to drive. Manufacturers realised this just before the turn of the century when safety regulations meant doors needed to be stronger and reinforced.
Once doors were strengthened with extra bars and struts and weight was removed in the form of less bulky door hinges and components, the classic solid door sound disappeared and was replaced with a much more flimsy and rackety sound.
You see, in a showroom, the customer hears the doors before the engine. Clever manufacturers realised this and thought it important to engineer a sound that connotes quality into the opening and closing of the doors. First impressions are important and with that being said, the sound of the door could be what sells the car.
As we know, the business of making cars is a multi-trillion pound/dollar global industry and so it should not surprise us that the big dogs out there, Toyota, VW, Ford and so on, put a lot of work into a minute detail of a car such as the sound it makes when opening and closing. Using Psychoacoustics, which is the study of the effect on sounds and our perception of things, industry giants are designing door sounds that sound as sturdy, quality and premium as possible.
Essentially, they are replicating that solid, clunky metal sound that you can still find on classic cars that were built before the 90s when safety regulations became stricter and door sounds became tinnier. Try closing the door on an old luxury car from the 80s and you’ll find a real, authentic thud sound. The very same sound that modern cars are trying to replicate.
Just like how the BMW i8 has fake engine noises because it’s actually a rather quiet hybrid, most cars have had their doors ‘tuned’ to produce a sound that mimics an older, more solid door from the 80s.
Although most companies don’t really talk about it, keeping it on the down-low, some companies like to shout about it from the rooftops. Take this Lexus ad for instance.
So there you have it, your car’s door noises are most likely fake and made to fool you into thinking they’re more solid than they actually are! Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!
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