Audi’s 2016 Q7 SUV will debut an all-new 3D sound system, which uses speakers of differing heights to create a more immersive listening experience. The system enables the listener to experience spatial height when hearing the music, adding a “third dimension” to the sound, Audi says.
The 3D sound system, available as a component of the Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen or the Bose Surround Sound option on the new Q7, uses a two-step process to break the music data down its spatial components. When an artist is recording a song, the room they are in bounces sound waves off the walls, celling and floor with different time lapses. Audi’s system picks up on these sonic reflections in the music and calculates the size of the room it was recorded in, which is the first step of the 3D sound experience.
The audio system then reassembles the sound portions in the music and adjusts it so that the sound pattern inside the car will sound more like that of the recording room. When paired with the Bang and Olufsen audio group, the system uses 11 different channels and 23 speakers to make the different sounds equally precise in each seat of the car. Central to the sound are four speakers in the A-pillars, which are what generate the spatial height-type sound. There’s also a 1,920 watt amp and a 9.8 inch subwoofer.
Audi says 3D sound is another one of its ground breaking in-car audio advancements, joining the innovative high-end Bang and Olufsen sound system in the 2005 Audi A8. The 2014 Audi TT also uses a system similar to 3D sound called Symphoria, a special software developed with the Fraunhofer Institute, who also worked on the 3D sound in the Q7.