The new B&O 3D Advanced Sound System is designed to provide an enveloping soundfield within the car by adding a height dimension to the standard horizontal dimension of conventional surround sound. A Dolby Atmos approach to in-car audio, if you like.
B&O has teamed up with German research institute Fraunhofer, and used its sound processing algorithm, Symphoria. This system, specifically tuned for the Audi Q7's cabin, extracts the height signals via "intelligent signal separation and semantic analysis".
Designers and sound engineers from Audi, B&O and Fraunhofer have all been involved in the development of the B&O system. The result is an "authentic and multidimensional automotive sound experience".
Bang & Olufsen is no stranger to in-car audio, having delivered a B&O system for the Aston Martin Vanquish, amongst other high-end motors.
Bang & Olufsen's own Class-D BeoCore amplifier is installed in the car to power the system and delivers in excess of 1900 watts of power.
The rest of the system is made up of 23 loudspeakers, with an amplifier channel for each speaker. Some speakers have been positioned in the upper section of each A-pillar.
Patented ALT (Acoustic Lens Technology) aims to deliver a 180-degree sound dispersion, and uses redesigned B&O tweeters.
Vehicle Noise Compensation (VNC) technology is also included in the system. This uses an on-board microphone to constantly measure the system's sound, making adjustments to compensate for any external or internal noise.
The sound quality should be further enhanced thanks to a scalable DSP, Truelmage matrix processing and 5.1 multi-channel support. Optional sound settings, including 'Front', 'Rear, 'All' and 'Movie' are available. Three more 3D sound settings of varying "intensity" are also available.
Peter Blum, head of infotainment/vehicle application, said: “Equipped with the latest assistance systems, infotainment modules and connection features, the new Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System will reproduce music in innovative 3D sound that will fascinate even discerning hi-fi users, while providing clearly the best bass performance seen in an Audi so far." He thinks it's pretty good, then.
The new Audi Q7 is expected to be released mid-2015.