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Audi Q7 Concept Has 62 Speakers for Extreme Surround-Sound - Car and Driver

June 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm
by Jake Holmes
Those who pay attention to such details will remember that the Audi A8 has an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system with no fewer than 19 speakers that combine for 1400 watts of music. Now Audi engineers have teamed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology to create a Q7 concept vehicle with 62 speakers.

The 57 speakers and five subwoofers are squeezed into the dashboard, roof pillars, and doors. Three computers are housed in the trunk to operate the audio system. As well as providing extremely precise surround-sound playback, the huge number of speakers permit “wave field synthesis,” which allows the system to simulate the effect of sounds playing anywhere in space. Audi says they can make it seem like vocals comes from several feet outside the car, for example.

Unfortunately, you can’t just plug in your iPod and crank up Metallica. Audio recordings must be produced specially for the 32-track format, and so far there are zero companies doing so. Audi says the vehicle is just a concept to illustrate the brand’s current sound system research, and that lessons learned from the Q7 will help guide future in-car audio systems.

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