Audi has turned to Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen once again for its in-car sound system for the Audi A8, but this time there's a slight difference.
The system for the A8 can be specified to deliver a 3D, enveloping sound not just to the front of the cabin, but to the rear passengers too.
The 3D Advanced Sound System comprises 23 speakers including two full-range drivers in the A pillars and two in the headlining above the rear seats. It's a similar system to the one available on the Q7.
These drivers are the ones that create the 3D sound effect. There are two tweeters that sit inside the dashboard, and rise out when the car is turned on.
They borrow B&O's lens technology, which can be found on the BeoLab 50, to evenly distribute sound in 180-degrees.
The system delivers a total of 1920 Watts of power, so rest assured it will be able to go loud, and can intelligently create a 3D soundfield from a 5.1-channel or stereo recording. It's not just a simple DSP that sends audio to the four height channels, but a more complex one that adapts based on each individual recording, to make sure the system delivers an accurate 3D effect.
The Sound System's settings are completely customisable, so you can choose whether to have sound focused on the front seats, the rear or both. Passengers in the back can also use a smartphone style control to adjust bass, treble and subwoofer levels.
- Audi MMI explored: A deep dive into Audi's in-car infotainment systems
- Harman is buying Bang & Olufsen's car audio unit for £106m
- Seven-seater Audi Q7 to come with Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System
If passengers in the rear are watching a movie on the displays mounted to the headrests, a dedicated Movie Set mode can be activated, which faithfully reproduces the full 5.1-channel soundtrack, meaning sounds on the right of the screen come out of the right channels and so on.
A slightly lower-spec Premium Sound System will also be available for the A8. This will come with 17 speakers, 730 Watts peak power and 3D Sound in the front only.
Pricing and availability of the 3D Advanced Sound System and Premium Sound System have yet to be announced.