Audi has taken the wraps off its latest all-electric vehicle and the big news is it’s going to be powered by Sonos. Of course, being an EV it's actually going to be powered by a battery, but the car’s sound system will be the first to be tuned by the multi-room audio maestros.
This brand new partnership will not only see Sonos feature in the Q4 e-tron, but it will also tune the systems for future A1, Q2 and Q3 models.
The Sonos set-up in the Audi Q4 e-tron is being billed as a “premium sound system” according to Audi’s press release. It’s going to be fitted as standard to Vorsprung versions and will be available in other variants of the car as part of the optional Comfort and Sound pack.
It uses the Sonoamic Panorama algorithm, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, to process audio and distribute it to 10 speakers inside the cabin. The algorithm claims to “use stereo recordings to generate a three-dimensional surround sound, where it places the individual sound sources on a virtual U-shaped sound stage. This gives the listener the impression they are sitting in the middle of the orchestra or band”.
The way the Sonos system is configured is as follows: four tweeters and a centre speaker are driven by a dedicated amplifier built into Audi's MIB 3 digital architecture, while a separate eight-channel “booster” amp handles the four bass speakers and the subwoofer in the luggage compartment. With both amps combined, total power for the Sonos system weighs in at 580 watts. At this stage, there’s no news on whether we’ll be seeing any extra Sonos features or sound modes provided by the system, but presumably, you’ll see Sonos logos dotted around the cabin to mark its presence in your shiny new Q4 e-tron.
One question this new Sonos/Audi partnership does raise, is what does this mean for Audi’s current arrangement with Bang & Olufsen? In-car systems tuned by the Danish manufacturer already feature heavily as options throughout Audi’s current range of vehicles. Does this mean there’ll be a new direction for Audi’s sound, (pardon the pun)? Hopefully, we'll be able to take a Q4 e-tron for a spin to find out...