Dolby Atmos to make its in-car debut in the Lucid Air electric vehicle

Dolby Atmos in-car
(Image credit: Dolby Atmos, Lucid Motors)

We all know about Dolby Atmos' application for the home (think select 4K TVs, Dolby Atmos soundbars and AV receivers), but there’s still one arena where the immersive audio tech hasn’t made any inroads. Until now.

It's always been a matter of when, not if the technology would make the transition onto four wheels and we now know you’ll be able to experience the first automotive application of Dolby Atmos is the Lucid Air electric vehicle (EV).

The luxury saloon (or sedan if you’re reading this from across the pond) comes with a 21-speaker Surreal Sound system. It consists of front, rear, side and height speakers which have been positioned in a way that you and your passengers should be able to hear individual sounds move around the cabin.

With Dolby’s input, Lucid Motors tuned the system using the legendary Capitol Records Studio C recording studio, where artists such as Beck, Gloris Estefan and Robbie Williams have all recorded and mixed.

“As the first car to integrate Dolby Atmos, Lucid Air delivers an elevated, multi-dimensional sound experience on par with the other innovations at Lucid,” said Derek Jenkins, Senior VP of Design, Lucid Motors.

We've seen a number of manufacturers announce plans to offer immersive in-car audio experiences over the last couple of years. We had a demo of Devialet's vision for in-car audio back in 2019, while more recently, Sennheiser has showed us its Ambeo Mobility sound system which should work with all available immersive audio formats. And, at CES 2021, Klipsch and Panasonic teamed up to support in-car Dolby Atmos music. Could we see other car manufacturers sign up to support Dolby Atmos in their vehicles?


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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.