If you are really into car audio, and if you’re not, you wouldn’t be reading this… you have probably spent a significant amount of time, energy and money into choosing the components for your system that you thought sounded best. And then you probably spent even more time getting them installed to provide the best possible performance once mounted in your ride. But let’s face it, car audio is fraught with compromises, from speaker positioning, to too many reflective surfaces, to always having to sit off to one side or the other (unless you are fortunate enough to drive a McLaren F1). Some of you I’m sure for various reasons have also been relegated to retaining the factory headunit, and making all your upgrades downstream of that. Well whether you’re a bona-fide tweaker, or you simply need a very good OEM interface that allows you to remove all the factory EQing, I have very good news for you.
Control of the various sources, as well as common adjustments, are made via the dash mounted DRC, or Digital Remote Control. The tuning and settings are done via a Windows based laptop. Outputs are flexible as well; there are eight channels of RCA outputs, as well as 8 channels of digital outputs using the AD link, which will come in handy on the Audison Thesis amplifiers. Of course control connections for Audison AC link and DRC compatible amplifiers are included as well.
The Bit One itself is rather diminutive when you consider the immense amount of processing power it has. The main brain and connection unit measures approximately 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches. Because the Audison engineers took advantage of all the available space, there are connection points on all four sides of the Bit One, which is one reason the unit can be as small as it is. The DRC unit measures 3.6 x 1.7 x 0.7 inches thick, and should be pretty easy to find a home for. All of the required cables and connections are included in the box.
The included software is quite simple to use and understand, if you know your way around a computer, and have a grasp of basic tuning tools. Things work in real time, and pretty much the way you’d expect, and many of the set up steps include a fully automated menu, where all you have to do is load a CD and click “next”.
But if you are “digitally challenged” and don’t know a .dll file from a notch filter, you’d best leave the installation and setup to an authorized dealer. The Bit One is too expensive and far too powerful to be wasted by an incorrectly done setup.
So, it sounds cool right, but what can it do for you? Well lets take a look at a few different scenarios. First, let’s say you have a system where you have had to retain the OEM headunit. There are no pre-outs and no amplifier turn-on signals on your radio. There is also no cell phone mute function. With the Bit One, you have the ability to solve all of the above problems, and many more. The high level inputs can be connected to your OEM radios speaker outputs. You can sum the channels to get a single full range output, or configure them as independent channels to a dedicated output. An internal signal sensing circuit will provide a 12V trigger to turn on external aftermarket amplifiers. And you can connect a hands-free cell kit to the Bit One, and now your system will automatically mute when your cell rings. The DRC will even display a message to let you know the phone is ringing!
But I think the best part of what the Audison Bit One can do for you in this situation, is remove all the OEM equalization that was applied to compensate for the crappy factory speakers, and get you back to a much flatter response. This is an often overlooked, but key step to getting a good sounding system using the OEM headunit. Even if your head unit doesn’t have but a single pair of outputs, the Bit One can configure Front, Rear, and Subwoofer outputs from a single pair of full range inputs.
Or maybe you have an aftermarket head unit and amplifiers, and simply want to be able to tweak and adjust things. Well Sparky, the Bit One was made just for people like you. To actually list all of the various adjustments and functions would take the rest of this issue, and then we’d have no room for our hot model photos, so I’ve made a list, of just the main functions a Bit One can provide. You’re welcome. After you read the list, you’ll understand what I meant about an immense amount of tuning power.
• Yet another feature that is always fun to play with, is the digital delay available for each channel. This function allows you to compensate for speaker-to-listener pathlength differences, or delay the whole front stage to let the output from the subwoofers arrive earlier, which can really be helpful in bringing the bass up front. Of course while any imaging compensation you do for one position will have an adverse effect on any other position, if you frequently drive alone, you can have your cake and eat it too!
On the Bench
I hooked the Audison Bit One up to my trusty Audio Precision, and made a bunch of measurements. As expected with high end gear like this, it performed exactly as advertised, or in some cases even a little better! The Bit One has a wide range of adjustability, and the automated setup function means it’s very capable of being fully compatible with virtually any head unit or other peripheral device.